Monday, June 23, 2014

H5N1 - A Time of No Tomorrows

There have been some bands in death metal that have pushed some boundaries and I actually am not a huge fan of some of the modern death metal that has such chaotic production that you have to listen hard to hear the riffing or the solos. But once in a while you find something that actually draws your attention and brings something different to the table. Canada's H5N1 is one of those bands. Named after the Avian Bird Flu it seems that this is one of those bands that thrive on the threat of cataclysmic events and, really, how fucking metal is that? What sets this band apart is that they use a low-fi production but with two basses to give this heavy as fuck sound.

Sometimes you don't need massive sound and technical guitar solos to create a good death metal sound. This band does their own thing and they do it well. There will be no "do they sound like the Florida scene or the Swedish scene?" or any of the typical comparisons. They sound like H5N1 and that's it. They use pounding riffs and low guttural vocals but with a strange twist. They throw some symphonic samples into their songs in certain places to add an epic doom and gloom feel to the songs. Most of their songs are under four minutes with a few that are two minutes and under for a total of ten songs coming in just over half an hour. But they make good use of the little bit of time they give themselves as each song just pounds you from beginning to end. "Biochemical Warfare Kvlt" opens the album and just in the title alone you can tell where this band is coming from. The song is heavy as fuck with pummeling riffs and crushing blast beats. But they throw those symphonic samples in there to add that epic feel as if you're in an end of the world death metal movie.

Each and every song on this album has it's own personality and it's own sound. You have some songs that just slay from beginning to end with endless monster riffing like "Desanguination" and "H5N1" but then you have a song like "Embracing the Pandemic Principle" that actually has a bit of depth to it as it's not a song that just pummels you from beginning to end but starts with the symphonic elements then leads into some of the best riffing on the album. The song is the longest on the album and has the most diverse elements but does not fail to kick your ass. "Infest With Plagues of Blackness" is another song that has those ferocious riffs and pounding rhythms and even throws a solo in there. The title track closes the album and in two minutes wastes no time brutalizing you with it's riffing and killer grooves. The drums on this track actually sound different on this song for some reason, as if it was recorded at another session. Nonetheless, it's a beast of a song and you are left battered and bruised when this album is over.

This is a quite interesting take on death metal. The fuzzy low-fi production might turn some people away but don't let it. This is a good album. There are dimensions here that are not usually in death metal and really takes this band to another level entirely. This is the kind of band that keeps the genre from getting stale. If you like death metal in general and like the modern sounding death metal as well, you may want to check this album out. You won't go wrong.

Thanks to FullBlast!PR for the digital promo.


No comments: