A mighty blast of good old Metaldeath from LA’s Once Human.
Release Date: 11th February 2022
Formats: CD / digital / vinyl
Over the course of two full-length albums – 2015’s highly acclaimed debut, The Life I Remember, and 2017’s conceptual tour-de-force, Evolution – Once Human have forged a defiantly unique path. No surprise that the new album is a welcome and ferocious fierce ol’ Metaldeath romp, fronted by the growliest woman in the west, the incredible force of nature that is Lauren Hart. Guitars (and production) come from band founder and ex-Machine Head/Soulfly man Logan Mader.
A set that’s been pieced together over the last two years like a carefully constructed jigsaw, Scar Weaver represents a massive step for Once Human. With the additional time afforded during the lockdown situation, the band have been able to refine and redefine their sound, inspired by a sudden creative surge from latest recruit, Max Karon. The result is a glorious, no holds barred, modern metal record, with Lauren Hart’s startling vocal performance just one of its revelations.
Eidolon hits the ground running with an absolute barrage. Any concerns that Lauren Hart might struggle to keep up with the sheer physical exertion of pushing the vocals into unchartered waters are put to bed as she dominates proceedings. Even as the title track slows to a lumbering tempo, the commitment to the wave after wave of intense growls shows no sense of slacking. Combined with the devastation coming from the rhythm section, the effect is almost overpowering. The weak and the meek might just need to lie down and surrender.
The war inside my head is dealt another crushing blow at the close of Bottom Feeders – beware the few seconds that suggest a close – the false ending is a killer when it suddenly kicks back in to deliver the fatal blow. Another slaying comes from Where The Bones Lie and for anyone who’s felt let down by the likes of the switch to more progressive tendencies by the likes of Trivium and Opeth and longing for some more screams and growls, it’s music to your ears.
Listening to the demolition job that’s going on in Erasure, what becomes clear is the sheer impact of those vocals. The energy in the music is undeniable. The arrangements are tight but once the voice kicks in, the song takes on a different picture. Point in case, take the cleaner moments in Deserted and the latest part of Cold Arrival come as a shock and Once Human become a different band, the contrast even greater with the venomous thrash. at which We Ride is taken. Two and a half minutes of a band who seem to be pushing each other to simply go faster pussycat, kill, kill.
An intensely explosive return from Once Human. The signs of any cobwebs are well and truly blasted away. They never stood a chance.
Watch the official video for Deadlock (featuring Rob Flynn) from the album here: