Written by: Izzy
Deathcore as a genre is very prone to stagnation. While I’m entirely in support of moshable bro-core that doesn’t reinvent the wheel but still delivers something fun and full of energy, the genre had been going through a period of staleness. After the golden MySpace years had died out things started going downhill, and suddenly there was a gap to be filled by adventurous deathcore that is willing to experiment and do something new. Many of those deathcore albums that broke out of the mold and made bold new statements are ones I still remember extremely fondly today.
Humanity’s Last Breath are fairly new blood, and while I had briefly enjoyed their music before in the occasions I had listened to them, I could tell Välde was gonna be something special after hearing the singles "Earthless" and "Vittring." Their strange and progressive approach to deathcore songwriting filled with unique guitar effects and off kilter winding passages entranced me and left me excitedly anticipating if the final product would deliver, and it did. Välde is one of the most refreshing pieces of deathcore in recent memory.
The base notes of this album are built off of a somewhat pastiche djenty deathcore formula: downtuned guitars oozing bass that reverberates off your eardrums, combined with slow heavy chugs with dissonant leads, and huge drums that make your speakers rattle. But what they create from that foundation through quirky songwriting techniques and an injection of post-metal and prog is a truly a titanic and apocalyptic album with a suffocating unearthly ambiance. It’s somewhat beyond description because communicating just how unusual and alien this album feels would require a comparison, and I can’t think of any band making anything quite like this. If their unique sound had a title, I’d probably call it “atmospheric deathcore.”
Another leg up Humanity’s Last Breath has on other deathcore bands is their approach to crafting an album as a full experience, never sticking with one structure for long and creating a very natural ebb and flow between the colossal riffs and pounding blast beats and its more comparatively timid moments. As such, they focus more on thick, ethereal, and crushing soundscapes. While there in a small dip in quality on certain tracks which are mostly just repeating ideas already established by the album, it’s overall incredibly consistent and maintains its distinct vibe effortlessly throughout.
Välde is an album that is much larger and greater than the sum of its parts, and continues to display and expand on Humanity’s Last Breath’s immense talent in creating music that bends deathcore's conventions. This is an album I’d feel pretty confident recommending even to somebody who wasn’t a big fan of deathcore because this really does not sound like any other deathcore you’ve heard, it’s worth trying on its own merits and its awe-striking command of atmosphere and intensity.
Humanity’s Last Breath - Välde was released Feb. 12th, 2021 from Unique Leader.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!