Thursday, November 3, 2011

Human Sculpture - Our World / Torn Down

Human Sculpture
Our World / Torn Down
Independent Release

The mixing of melodic death metal with thrash metal is nothing new these days. One only needs to look at the number of bands within today’s extreme metal scene and see that there is countless numbers of acts out there vying for the same crowd as the rest. Another new contender to throw amongst the large number of acts that already exist within the genre is Finnish (Järvenpää based) act Human Sculpture.
Formed less than a year ago, the five piece act (Comprising of vocalist Ville Mansikkaviita, guitarists Mikko Pylkkö and Jussi Salolainen, bassist Samu Pasanen and drummer Jaakko Jaakkola) have wasted no time in putting together their debut E.P. release ‘Our World / Torn Down’.
While the thought of reviewing another melodic death/thrash metal act didn’t exactly have me chomping at the bit with anticipation, I must admit that after giving ‘Our World / Torn Down’ a few spins, it’s clear that Human Sculpture are anything but the same old band punching out the same old sound, like many in the same realm.
The most immediate thing about Human Sculpture’s debut effort is the sheer power and brutality when the band delivers their brand of melodic death/thrash metal. The opening track ‘Deconstruction’ reminds me of the tight knit/technical precision musicianship of Decapitated and Meshuggah, with the sharpness of the riffing and fluency of the drumming sounding as tight as the bands mentioned, but with enough rawness in the sound to give the songs an organic edge over the overly processed vibe that can sometimes work against the most technical and brutal of acts these days.
Vocalist Mansikkaviita doesn’t have the broadest of range, with much of his delivery sticking primarily to guttural growls and some higher growls. But what he lacks in range, he does make up for in terms of keeping his vocals varied.
On the song writing front, the band keep things interesting by varying the tempo enough to ensure the songs don’t become repetitive, with the mid-paced and groove based second song ‘The Wait’ one of the more obvious examples of where the band shift gears throughout with considerable success.
Finishing up the E.P. is ‘A Heart’, which is by far the E.P.’s heaviest effort, as well as its most progressive and technically challenged in terms of arrangement, with the band fluidly transitioning between huge grooving passages and blast beat moments via huge breakdowns.
Production wise, it’s hard to find a fault on ‘Our World/Torn Down’, with Jarno Hänninen (Who recorded, mixed and mastered the three tracks at D-Studio) giving the band a sound that’s every bit as huge and dynamic sounding as you would expect of a signed act.
The only minor issue is that as good as Human Sculpture’s three song offerings are - there is a sense of familiarity in sound and direction on all three, which means that over the course of a full-length effort, the band could run the risk of having an album that sounds like it’s running a whole lot longer than it is.
Apart from my minor quibble over the song writing, I thoroughly enjoyed Human Sculpture’s brutal take on the melodic death/thrash metal sound, and I'm keen to see what the band will produce in the near future.

For more information on Human Sculpture, check out - http://www.myspace.com/humansculptureband

© Justin Donnelly