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.

HUMANITY ZERO "Proselytism"

Since the first demo in 2008, Humanity Zero from Greece was able to create 8 releases within 10 year of existence. Proselytism is the 5th full length and the follow up of Withered in Isolation that was released a year prior to this one. The biggest change is that Dimitris Sakkas aka Dimons Night recruited Kydoimos for the vocal duties to replace Giannis Grim (mainly known for his work at Ectoplasma). Humanity Zero are averse of trends and keep on creating 1990s Death/Doom Metal with organ-like keys to enhance the atmosphere of gloom. With the same musical influences and approach as Ophis on their Withered Shades album as well as Mourning Beloveths Dust, Tristitias One With Darkness and My Dying Brides Turn Loose the Swans without any piano-intermezzos, you will probably get it that they are stuck in the 1990s scene. Not a bad album at allnot at all.

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