HUMANITY ZERO "Proselytism"

Humanity Zero are a Greek band that have been active since 2003. After having played more or less classic death metal for most part of their career they switched to a more doomy sound with their latest release Withered in Isolation and on their newest output Proselytism they further explore that path. Like often the case when it comes to (death/) doom metal Proselytism does not simply follow a pop song formula consisting of the traditional verse-bridge-chorus parts. The songs feature arrangements that flow and evolve as each riff closes. Each transition marks an indistinguishable final chapter in a song segment. This album is mostly comprised of pieces, not standard songs. However, it is the way how those pieces have been put together that makes this album stand out from most of its peers. Proselytism can become an increasingly difficult listen as the band slow down to a crawl and the guitarist downpicks slowly to the slogging beat. Lovers of faster and more casual metal might find this boring and start to look elsewhere. While this is for sure not the kind of music I could listen to each and all day I highly appreciate the mood Humanity Zero is able to create, leading to a satisfying listening experience given the right circumstances. Fans of cinematic arrangements to doom/death metal for sure will love this effort. The lyrics keep pace with the riffs, the riffs lock in to the beats, and for brief moments during this album, Humanity Zero remind me of Gothic-era Paradise Lost minimalist, going slow, then fast, then back again, while melodic solos occasionally provide nuance. The music creates a bleak atmosphere and offers a certain kind of melancholic beauty. Symphonic elements are always present in the background giving the whole affair an epic character. The production is powerful with the mix perfectly balancing a certain rawness and much needed clarity. The guitars are crunchy without burying the symphonic details. While the growls are deep and beastly each word can be perfectly understood. Rounded of by a spectacular and eerie cover artwork this album should be worth a look for any fan of dark and crawling metal.

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