Humanity's Last Breath - Välde

Band: Humanity’s Last Breath

Album: Välde

Genre: Down-Tempo Deathcore

Label: Unique Leader

Location: Sweden

FFO: Black Tongue, Cabal, Traitors

Humanity’s Last Breath is a very unique band. Right off the bat, that is not something I can say about a lot of acts. They are a group I have only recently gotten into in these last couple years. At first I was admittedly a little lost, but completely captured at the same time. Having some experience with them now, I completely understand what they are going for… most of the time. That’s not to say they are predictable though, that is one of the last things this band is. The production is usually really good, but even better on this project. Quality production is almost always a good thing, but some bands/genres can get away with a lower quality final product. With HLB, I think the production is such a large piece to the puzzle that if it were to be bad, it could ruin everything. So good on them for getting it right. It sounds monstrous and fantastic, especially those insanely thick guitars.

I mentioned HLB is unique, and that’s for a few reasons such as their uncompromisable heaviness, but the biggest reason being their overall structure. You never know which way a song might turn. Chorus? Verse? Riff? Orchestra? Singing? Breakdown? Fast? Slow? All elements you have heard before, but jumbled and out of traditional fashion right down to the instruments. Tempo and rhythm changes can appear countless times within 5 minutes alone. Yet somehow they make it feel structured. This isn’t a “mess”. They have complete control. This makes for really good pacing as well. Once you’re sucked into the void (which is what every song feels like) time is completely irrelevant. Especially since you don’t have those traditional markers of “oh this is the 3rd chorus, song is wrapping up”, you have no idea where you are in the song. 5 minutes goes by in a breeze. Something really special about these guys is the simplicity behind the music. There’s a lot going on within each song, but the instruments themselves aren’t breaking boundaries. There’s no complicated solos or new things I’ve never really heard. That in itself is kind of funny because I called this band unique just before this. But that’s what plays into the specialty of this band. They give us a new and unique piece of work, while incorporating the usual deathcore style we’ve heard and love. That’s not to say they don’t get crazy in their own way though. There are plenty of guitar sounds and structural mazes within the specific instruments that are just insane. They’ve completely crafted their own different world within an album while sticking with the usual chugs, blast beats, ex. just with some added twists and turns. Something else I certainly need to mention is the vocals. I have always loved this guy's voice. It fits the music perfectly. Even though he tends to stay in his lower register, it’s so beastly that I can’t get enough of it.

If I have 1 complaint for this record, it’s the transitions from song to song. I feel like these guys have a sound that could make it very easy for one song to transition/melt into the next, but they don’t really do that. Each song certainly relates, they belong on the same album, but they are living on their own island at the same time. I just wish the flow of the record as a whole was better. Compared to previous work, I feel this was just a natural progression for them. They bring to the table what we know them for, but up the steaks. Välde is without a doubt the band’s darkest, bleakest, most atmospheric, and heaviest album yet. From start to finish, that is no secret.

I’ve been very happy with Humanity’s Last Breath up to this point, but Välde blew me out of the water. They are clearly in their own lane when it comes to this genre. This album is haunting, heavy, disturbing, dark, beautiful, intense, and pretty much everything I could want from these guys.

Rating: 9.5/10

Strongest Song: Hadean, Tide, Väldet


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