Subhuman

Profondo Rozzo

Written by: PP on 16/12/2009 16:13:55

I don't know what it is with the Italian postal system because in the past six months, I've counted at least eight separate occasions where a small Italian metal band has requested our address to send us their newest outing for a review and promptly done so, but even after several weeks of waiting, our mailbox still echoes of emptiness (not really, it's so full that we're having trouble keeping up). So the review of Subhuman's debut album "Profondo Rozzo" almost didn't happen, but luckily the band contacted us to find out what was going on and sent us a digital copy instead.

Now, the reason I say luckily is because "Profondo Rozzo" is a beast of a debut album, and one of the best metal albums I've heard from Italy during the last twelve months (though competition hasn't exactly been tough, I must admit), and one that I actually feel like recommending to people who find the bands listed in the 'for the fans of' section even mildly appealing. The title track violently breaks its way through your skull with crushingly dense math-metal riffs bearing quite a bit of similarity to Danish metallers Scamp's explosive album opener "Dilemma". These are only preserved for a moment though before Subhuman dives head first into a modern, detailed death metal sound that has hints of the genius displayed by the likes of Meshuggah. The band likes to refer to their sound as thrash metal, but it definitely has more in common with death metal, math metal and even deathcore in places, which can be accredited to the sharp, modern production. The great production is also key to unveiling the evil, hypnotic guitar twists that give an intelligent contrast to the band's otherwise violently played death/thrash combination, giving way to a direct comparison of Subhuman to the likes of Meshuggah, Scamp, and even The Dillinger Escape Plan in places.

So the band are clearly fighting in the big leagues, at least when it comes to the intensity-level of the album. It grabs the listener without letting go and consistently bangs your head against the wall just to find out what's inside your skull when it breaks. The one criticism I have for the album, however, is that despite the dynamic instrumentation and the explosive, coarse vocals which are upheld throughout the entirety of "Profondo Rozzo", the songs do start to sound a bit samey towards the end of the record. Either some variation is required, or more killer riffs or intriguing transitions, and then the next album's gonna be on the lips of everyone in the European underground scene. For now, this is a great debut giving the band lots to work with. Metal Blade / Relapse should be looking into this band.

7

Download: Profondo Rozzo
For the fans of: Meshuggah, Scamp, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.08.2009
Maple Metal Records

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