Canadian death metal quintet The Last Felony
formed in 2005 from Montreal
, Quebec. They released their debut full-length album "Aeon
of Suffering" back in 2008 before being signed to Lifeforce Records (War
From A Harlot
's Mouth, Antagonist
). Afterwards, they would release their second full-length album in 2010 called "Too Many Humans."
Over these past few decades, Canada has grown into a nest for plenty of the technical death metal scene's household names; Whether old-school (Cryptopsy
) or modern (Beneath The Massacre
, Ion Dissonance
), these bands from this particular region have become more or less big names overtime. The Last Felony
may not be as seasoned as the previously mentioned acts, but they still have gained a tight following up to now. Upon seeing an advertisement in a metal music magazine (Outburn, if I remember correctly) for their sophomore release a few years back, I gave the album a try and I came to a conclusion I hold onto even now: Even though it may not be one of the technical death greats, "Too Many Humans" is a very potent by which The Last Felony
makes their mark on the modern death metal canvas.
For starters, the musicianship is great, especially the guitar-work. The record is laden with lots of impressive and brazen riffs throughout, and they have a lot of variety and dynamic to keep the listeners invested. On top of that, the vocals and drums, though a bit typical for the death metal genre, still fare really well in their performances. The vocalist's low gutturals and high-pitch roars are very ferocious and project the lyrics' sense of hostility and violence really well (Which I will address later in this review). The drums are equally feral, with a lot of fast pacing complete with blast-beats and fills and whatnot, but they still have enough dynamic and technique to them to make them interesting to listen to.
On top of that, the sound production is also very solid. The album was mixed, produced, and engineered by Christian Donaldson, the guitarist for Cryptopsy
. He has done similar work for other bands such as The Agonist
, Beneath The Massacre
, and Ingested
, and he does great as usual. The sound is somewhat polished, but at the same time, has a somewhat raw and unclean edge to it that really ups the music's devastating atmosphere. Not only is it fitting for this band's type of sound, but it also makes the album more inviting towards both old and new-school death metal fans. In short, the mixing works in that it helps make the music both potent and accessible.
Speaking of the music itself, "Too Many Humans" is an album reckless and uncompromising in its attack; nearly every minute of this record is filled with aggressive and somewhat technical death metal, making this a stellar fit for anyone looking to get a dark, highly energetic fix. Many highlights are to be found as well: The title track and the subtly titled "No One
Would Notice If You Died" immediately throw the audience into the chaos, striking the listeners with utter speed and ferocity throughout. Other songs, such as "Quandary," "We Are the Future Housing Developments for Maggots
," and "Do Not Defend Me" are slightly toned down in comparison, but fluctuate between the slower and faster parts just as smoothly. Overall, this release is absolutely nothing short of abrasive, but has plenty of dynamic to keep the excitement on ups.
For all the record has to offer, however, it does get pretty repetitive at times. While it does have enough dynamic to remain above the water as stated earlier, it does borderline on monotony at certain points. No specific examples come to mind, but when one listens to the album all the way through, they may notice that some riffs and passages may start to sound blended and all too similar; it's a passive kind of repetition. Because of this, it does lose some of its steam as the album continues. Thankfully, although it is somewhat distracting and a bit more than a minor flaw, it's far from actually ruining anything.
As if the music itself wasn't sinister enough, the lyrics are not any more light-hearted and comforting. Quite frankly, it's almost as if they were taken from pages of Patrick Bateman's diary*; they read like the rants and ramblings of a nihilistic lunatic in both their themes and the manner in which they are written. The album's finale (If you don't count the digital bonus track "A Cathedral
and Fluids"), called "Water Cooler Suicide
," focus on the uncomfortable idea of someone would end their own life in an incredibly over-the-top just for attention: "I want to be remembered for one single stupidity I committed, and completely forgotten for who I really was."
"Do Not Defend Me" is another particularly heavy example; It reads as a psychotic rant dwelling on themes of pity isolation, and insecurity. One line reads as such: "It's what you decide to do that establishes who you are, and I've decided to be a miserable [expletive] here to point out everything that's wrong with everything and everyone." Other topics this albums touches include overpopulation ("Too Many Humans"), suicide ("Televisionary"), and even prostitution ("No One
Would Notice If You Died"). Nihilistic lyrics in death metal are a dime-a-dozen, but what makes these particularly engaging is how they are so casually written, as if someone could actually say these things. This makes the lyrics as unpleasant and vehement the music itself, as they should be.
Even with many more modern death metal albums flooding the scene in recent years, "Too Many Humans" manages to stand the test of time as an impressive effort. From the impressive musicianship to the solid and well-balanced production and mixing to the appropriately venomous lyrics, this release is a definite recommendation for anyone looking for violent and unflinching metal. It does almost slip into monotony at times with how repetitive the songs can be in terms of sound, but the pros far outweigh the cons here. Those looking for something truly innovative and ground-breaking in the death metal ranks might not find what they're looking for, but, as just mentioned, for those in search of a violent yet well-composed craze should be more than satisfied.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/