Recorded at Mastertone Sound, Runcorn, UK. Engineered by Pete ‘Pee Wee’ Coleman. Mastered by Grado. Original artwork by Nathan Tillet at Fuzzy Planet.
Following a demo and EP, in 2001 and 2002 respectively, this offering represents Humanity‘s one and only album before they changed their name to Awake (sometime between 2004 and 2007).
When I plucked this CD from my shelves my heart sank a little looking at the cover. It really doesn’t do it for me. It actually took me a moment or two to try to work out what it shows. What is it?! Some kind of chrome-plated man looking depressed, sitting at an illuminated table covered in squiggles. Is that supposed to somehow encapsulate the human condition? Is he upset that silence has called him?
Who knows. I hope the music is better. Thankfully it is. It’s actually really rather good.
Musically this album definitely sounds like British rock/metal. With a double guitar line-up there is more than a nod to NWOBHM heroes Iron Maiden, with the vocals at times more in the Blaze Bailey incarnation of the band. Remarkably there are elements of the 1980s Scottish Christian rock band Triumph in there too!
The album opens with drums playing behind a strong bass riff, guitars next, baritone vocals—not what I expected. Not the greatest album opener but a solid rock song. The chorus goes “Decay… decay…” repeat. For the first few listens in the car I couldn’t work out why he was singing “DK”. Dorling Kindersley?! The Dead Kennedys?! Denmark?!
The fourth track, “Dark cell”, is the first song that piques my interest. It builds in a distinctly contemporary Iron Maiden way with arpeggio chords over drums and keyboards, building a sense of urgency, until … STOP… riff. It’s like a train building up pace until it hits a steady rhythm.
The next track, “Repent” could have been the best song on the album were it not for the timing of the almost incessant piano track that plays throughout the duration of the song. I suspect they were trying to be clever mixing two completely different tempos but it just doesn’t work. It’s so disappointing. It could have been brilliant. Such a shame.
This isn’t a particularly heavy album although there are a few heavy riffs scattered throughout a few of the tracks. I’m not even sure they are a metal band, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. The songs are melodic, twist here and there in a definite prog style and are definitely interesting. It’s not a classic but it’s a solid offering, definitely worth a listen.
Review score: 70%
Here’s a medley of Humanity tracks, including the ‘it could have been brilliant’ track “Repent” which you’ll find at 4’32”. Please leave a comment, is it just me? What do you think?