Nocturnal Art Productions, run by ZYKLON’s very own Samoth, the base of operation for some intriguing Extreme acts such as RED HARVEST, MINDGRINDER and AETERNUS, now also the home of U.S. based Death Metal jamming machine WYNJARA (featuring J.P. Soars, ex MALEVOLENT CREATION) and their second album. I know Samoth has good tastes in Metal, so when I received this promo I expected something that would earn my praise.
I’m somewhat ok with this album, that and confused, be sure of the fact that “Human Plague” is a mixed experience: on one hand the band delivers tight and diverse Death Metal while on the other falling into MORBID ANGEL’s recent syndrome of having too many indifferent instrumentals instead of following DARKANE’s path of using fewer albeit better interludes. This time I really don’t care if they use a drum machine, it sounds more real than what you get from the usual cheap drum programming and the rhythms are well constructed.
Quickly skipping the intro, “Laughing As They Die” penetrates with old school brutality and great variety in the rhythms as it progresses, there’s even a semi Jazz part where there’s a clean guitar solo toying with lullaby atmospherics, nice.
After a more stripped attack in form of the vicious “Feast Of Fools”, the album goes into a sparing round of less qualified tracks starting with the three and a half minute failed keyboard instrumental called “Rebirth” followed by “Shallow” and its primitive and uninteresting start/stop riffage and mediocre solo sections. “Disgrace” and “I Am” manage to get things back on track before “Little Man”, “Transformations” and “Walking Dead” drag it down again. “Hypocrite” and “Aftermath” finish off the album with dignity, really dig the contrasting formula used on the last mentioned.
The instrumentation is great and experienced, the vocals are traditional but not as boring as you may think they’d be. The sound is good, aggressive with a modern twist on the edges, trust me these guys know what they’re doing.
Pushing the boundaries or not, “Human Plague” falters in being consistent all the way (if there’s a Death Metal album with one too many instrumentals that’s actually good, you let me know) but makes up for it with a wide array of boosting diversity, controlled musicianship, hell even a couple great of songs. This might be worth checking out if you want something different and more challenging inside your next Death Metal package. (Online December 13, 2004)