Originating from Helsingborg, Sweden, Humanity’s Last Breath have had a mixed past. Guitarist Buster Odeholm (who’s also Vildhjarta‘s drummer) is the only founding member left after a split in 2014.
Despite this setback, he went on to create his own studio and album under the band’s name that he solely wrote and recorded all the pieces for it, ‘Detestor’. Now, having recruited three members and signed to Unique Leader Records, we encounter its follow-up, ‘Abyssal’.
Beginning with a smattering of synths, opener ‘Bursting Bowel Of Tellus’ slams with low-tuned guitars and disjointed bursts of augmented sounds and vocals that ensure terror is kept at the top of the menu. Diving between grindcore speeds, black metal riffs, and slamming drops, it’s an impactful and emphatic start.
Taking an industrial edge, ‘Bone Dust’ reduces the freneticism and extends the riffs, incorporating a steely harder edge with perfectly executed rhythms from Marcus Rosell, who seamlessly traverses between rolling tom sections to rifling kick pedals. Incorporating brief breaks of distant vocal sections, and even a bleak operatic ending shows that the band hasn’t just come to grind out a new section of your skull for their mantelpiece.
Almost titular track ‘Abyssal Mouth’ turns the ante up to maximum in a furore of earth shattering bass lines and pounding drums that, along with the visceral roars of Filip Danielsson, depict the scene of calamitous destruction and pestilence. Curtailing between different vocal sections and never having an actual chorus or conventional structure whilst still adding in layers of backing vocals means the variety is kept intact, while the dark chaotic atmosphere is retained as a central core.
Spelling the demise of the human race, ‘Rampant’ describes the wanton destruction of the natural resources that the planet has given to us, told with the raucous of dissonant guitar riffs from Odeholm and Calle Thorner that fluctuate between djent stop starts and Gatling gun bursts of black metal.
‘Abyssal’ is most certainly not for the faint-hearted, but the non-repetitive nature and incorporation of different elements to each song mean that there’s plenty to feast on. It definitely deserves multiple listens to wrap around the complexity of it all.
BSc (Hons) Audio and Recording Technology Graduate| Bass Guitarist | The Old Guy at Festivals