Metal is a genre that really loves their labels. From heavy metal to slamming brutal death metal, we’ve got labels for bands that almost seem unnecessary at times even. Defining Human are a band who are most easily placed into the label of progressive deathcore, but I feel it doesn’t do justice to the heavy influences they take from the likes of say technical death metal. Yes the clean vocals of metalcore are there, and the classic deathcore chugs are effortlessly found, but there are portions of the album that could easily be classified as Technical Death Metal, and they work really well with the progressive portions of the album.
Now as it’s been talked about plenty of times before, metal core and deathcore are genres that get a lot of flak for being too simple and unoriginal, which is why It’s no surprise the progressive forms of both genres have been the more acclaimed genres for their overall quality in songwriting and technical proficiency, and after a quick listen you’ll find that Defining Human can easily be marked under this more interesting side of things. There’s plenty of down tuned chugs to get the regular deathcore crowd involved, like the song ‘Monarchy Devine’ which is one of the heavier tracks on the album, but fear not, there’s a heaping of great solo’s and impressive lead guitar work to keep the prog/tech nerds like myself interested. This can be heard in the very first track ‘Parallels’ and all throughout the remainder of the album. The second track ‘Martyr Resolution’ actually has two rather impressive solo’s in it.
The vocals tend towards a mid-range scream with some layered low gutturals here and there to spice things up, the vocals aren’t the most remarkable part of the album, but they are far from bad. I do however feel like the guttural vocals could have been used a bit more often, but again it’s nothing bad.
Another thing this band gets right is the ambience, from the eerie picking at the start of ‘Parallels’ and ‘From Within’ to the background ambience and radio chatter on ‘Gates’ or the more post-rock sounding tracks ‘The Absence’ and ‘Grey Lights’ which ends off the album. The band has done a very good job setting up a solid atmosphere. The post rock songs as a matter of fact proves my previous point about genres, these tracks are not like any other song on this album, but Defining Human has written them in a way that flows perfectly and in no way do these tracks feel out of place.
Defining Human have definitely left quite an impression with this debut album, they have definitely taken inspiration from the likes of Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya, and The Contortionist, but they’ve made this album their own and have shown that they can hang with the best of them.
If you have Spotify, feel free to listen to this album now!
Defining Human - Defining Human