DyingHumanityChemnitz based five piece Dying Humanity return with their fourth album “Deadened”.  The album itself is a heavy mix of groove metal, thrash metal and death metal, taking the heaviness, intensity and power of all styles, adding in some powerful track themes about mental instability and neatly wrapping it up in a rather great, sinister looking comic like artwork designed by Joshua Andrew Belanger. Enough talk, let’s get deadened.

An intriguing tribal melody, sounding somewhat similar to that which you would find on a Soulfly track opens up the title track. Steady distortion builds up before the gratuitous double kick from the drums and the raw and harsh vocals growl their way to life. As soon as the track kicks into the verse, it really comes to life. Powerful melodic death metal styled riffs are driven on by a tight rhythm section and real thrash like groove, complete with some technical soloing and a good harmony lead section for good measure. “Delusion” is the shortest track of the album and it has that melodic metalcore feel to it similar to All That Remains. The blistering pace combined with the harsh vocals in the verses make this an intense track, only really letting up for the more melodic chorus where the clean vocals come in giving it a great edge and contrast to the rest of the track.

“Beyond Redemption” opens with a powerful intro which helps build the atmosphere. The melodic lead adds to this build up effect and it shifts into a fast paced melodic series of riffs and fills before the groove takes over in the verse. Fast paced guitars, harshly delivered vocals and relentless drums persist through both the simple structured verse and choruses but where it really comes to life is the 2:20 point. A great harmony lead line slows the pace of the track down momentarily before it kicks back in with a thunderous thrash like gallop feel into a great sounding solo before it gets frantic as hell for the end. “I Am King” grows in volume as it starts where a low volume version of a riff is then played before it erupts to full volume. Powerful sounding riffs, aggressive vocals and a cutting groove give this track a similar feel to the Peter Dolving years of The Haunted and before some of you wince… They did do some good stuff in that spell! Alternating between fast riffs and powerful chugs, the track is jam packed full of great moments and the solo is a fantastic technical bit of playing.

“Psychotic Illusion” opens up with a harmonic heavy bass intro with a steady clean guitar line which builds up for the explosion of fast paced, hard hitting metal to follow. Buzzing guitars, relentless drums and fiercely delivered vocals make this a real powerhouse of a track, mixing the melodic death metal and groove metal elements brilliantly, keeping the power and the feel of the track without it seeming too overbearing and the follow up track, “Feed Him To The Lions” has the same mentality. Forgoing the groove for the thrash approach, this one is just as intense and the aggression in the vocal delivery gives it an extra edge and the track is possibly the best example of the rhythm section’s brilliant work on the album!

“Oblivion” is where things change. Opening up with an acoustic guitar melody which has a slight dark feel to it whilst sounding beautiful, it really invokes the mid-1990’s In Flames sound found on The Jester Race album. A rich bass tone, brilliant harmonising from the guitars and simple, minimalistic drums all fall into place and tease as to whether the track will kick in or not. After the halfway point of the song, the bass then plays the acoustic melody before it finally kicks in. A huge wall of distortion, spearheaded by a dramatic harmonic divebomb on the guitar grabs you by the neck, slaps you in the face a few times to wake you up and when you realise what hits you, it is a holy shit moment. Melodic death metal played at a blistering pace erupts to life and it is absolutely fantastic. The distorted guitars play a ferocious take on the acoustic melody for the remainder of the song and it fades back to the clean sound as it ends. “Ashes of Destiny” hits like a freight train. Aggressive, fast paced and highly intense, it is a fantastic track all round. The vocals are full of power and the guitars have that cutting edge to them, giving the track a real classic melodic death metal feel. The breakdown is heavy and the lead work is sublime, one sweet sounding solo shifts into a series of fantastic riffs before going back into another solo section, it’s just a fantastic track all round.

“Devious Greed” is another fast paced track and judging from the previous two tracks, Dying Humanity have opted to close the album with what seems to be their best material. Tight rhythm work, harsh vocals and intricate riffs litter the track and the chorus really pushes the speed up a notch with its relentless trem-picked assault. It does ease off a little in the break in the track, going more for a steady feel with some expressive melodic lead guitar work. Whilst it isn’t as strong as the previous two tracks, it’s up there as a high point of the album. “Bloodshot Eyes” rounds the album off. Once again, using a powerful sounding heavy intro, the guitar work and composition sounds similar to Dark Tranquillity. Controlled bursts of riffs, quick guitar fills and good melodic lines in the verses work well, and the lead guitar work is straight to the point. It shifts from fast and frantic to powerful groove as the song progresses with plenty of heavy chugging before it finally goes clean for the ending. The acoustic melody and marching drum styled beat work well, but they have more of a build up feel to them than a closing feel which doesn’t quite work to finish the album off.

“Deadened” is a solid release. Melodic Death Metal, Thrash and Groove are the core elements and they are mixed in just the right way to get the best sound out of it. This release really comes to life in the closing stages and the only real criticism is the closing track was perhaps in the wrong place given how its ending is more suited to building up to something than ending something. Aside from that, if you want heavy music with a lot of power and anger behind it, get Deadened.

(8/10 Fraggle)