Recorded at Red City Recordings, Manchester and Safe Haven Studios. Produced by David Radahd-Jones (Heaven’s Basement). Mastered by Grant Berry at Fader Mastering. Self-released on Friday 16 September 2022 via the band’s official web media channels.
Originally formed in 2011, nu-metal/nu-apocalypse/industrial Anti-Clone have come a long way since playing the Axe and Cleaver pub in Boston, UK. The pub may have closed in 2016, but after a four-year hiatus following a major line-up change and a more melodic sound, Anti-Clone are very much open for business with this five-track (including bonus track) EP Human.
A decade into this 195 metal CDs project and this is my first nu-metal-related review, and my first nu-apocalypse—which it turns out is when you take a nu/industrial-metal band and add a dash of modern technical metal prowess. Well, whatever you call it, I like it.
Written with cataclysmic recent world events in mind, Anti-Clone’s new EP Human is a step into the mindset of four people trying to contend with everyday life while the world appears to be burning around them. As a follow up to their 2016 debut album The Root of Man, Human takes on a more melodic, nuanced sound that still promises as much aggression as its predecessor.
Anti-Clone vocalist Peter “CLΩNE” Moore said, “Human is an anthem rooted in the horror of what it means to be human. Its intention is to hold a mirror to humanity (or lack of) and explore just how far we’ve fallen in the sense that we fetishise war, and that we hold guns and gods above basic human rights, decency and life. Every time you turn on the TV, or read the news, you are greeted by the same bleak reality be it the war in Ukraine, or the most recent school shootings in the United States. Human is a case study into the psyche of the human race and how we can learn to be better.”
Title track and EP opener, “Human” (track 1) opens with the question, “Why do we hate?” Musically, this is Slipknot meets Die Krupps meets Twenty Ripped Angel—melodic with a decidedly industrial-influenced groove that stomps its way from start to finish. Good stuff!
“Punish me” (track 2) has a more energetic feel with Rammstein-style half-spoken vocals spat out over a buzzing guitar riff. The chorus opens up with a bright melody before decending to an angry, shouty vocal. Around two-thirds of the way through, they float off into a welcoming ethereal middle-eight.
Anti-Clone lower the tempo with the Marilyn Manson-infused “End of the world” (track 3) featuring a double-time acidic-sounding chorus. This song brings a welcome dynamic to the EP, the calm before the inevitable storm that is the heavy, metalcore-sounding “Spiteful” (track 4).
Bonus track “Army of me” (track 5) opens with a gurgling bass riff beneath pounding toms, accompanied by scratchy guitar tones. This is certainly the darkest track on the EP, bright melodies replaced by a slightly dischordant riff and snarling vocals. Maybe there is some hope for humanity, after all.
While Anti-Clone’s masks will obviously invite comparison with Slipknot, there is more to the band than the grotesque faces behind which they hide. Anti-Clone manages to project their reflections of humanity using fewer instruments but with no less of an impact. The songs are both dark and light, offering glimmers of life and hope while also capturing the disturbing horror that humanity finds itself in during this third decade of the 21st century. A stark warning about humanity in the digital age, indeed.
Review score: 95%
Directed by the band and Dead Pixels Photography, the new video demonstrates the abuse of power, and how tyrants use charisma and rhetoric to captivate and ensnare a willing audience. This is counterbalanced with the actions of a lone individual standing up and saying no, albeit through truly extreme means. The visuals echo the message of the song and are played out in the most dramatised version possible, conveying the warning signs we frequently see on our screens everyday.
Rob Town at Stampede Press contacted me inviting me to preview Anti-Clone’s forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either Stampede Press or Anti-Clone. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Rob from Stampede Press, and to Anti-Clone for continuing to create fresh, exciting music.