Written by: Izzy
Well I suppose it’s time to christen my very first goregrind review, one of the most inhumanely brutal genres out there, so much so even some metalheads fear it! Think you look brutal in your Dying Fetus T-shirt little guy? Wait until you see my Active Stenosis and Sulfuric Cautery cassettes! (Disclaimer: I don’t own either of these bands music on cassette (yet)! So, what a better band to kick it off than the Netherlands' very own Last Days of Humanity!
...Oh wait a moment, I seem to be reading from the wrong script. Today we’re ACTUALLY reviewing one-man Arizonian goregrind act FIRST Days of Humanity. Bad jokes aside, do not let the parodied name put you off from this album. Even if you are familiar with LDOH
and know they aren’t your cup of tea, FDOH are a completely different monster and have carved a place for their own bestial niche amongst the cavernous cave walls of goregrind and gorenoise.
You may have already noticed this isn’t a regular review, well that is because FDOH have yet to put out an LP, and if or when they do, frankly I doubt it’ll be much longer than a standard EP anyways. This band’s projects thusfar have been especially short, more comparable to the average demo length than anything. I mean, their entire discography of 4 EPs and 2 splits is only about 40 minutes. So instead, since I’ve been dying to put out a full-sized review on these guys, we’re looking at the two EPs they’ve released thusly this 2020, Pixel Death and Atrocities.
First Days of Humanity’s iconography is largely based on the primalism and brutality of prehistoric man, and I feel there’s no better personification of the band's sound than that. It is simplistic, obtuse, and absolutely carnal, you listen to FDOH for no reason other than desiring the most bone crushing, flesh rending, smoothbrained bulldozing goregrind riffage out there.
Their guitar tone is one of the most destructive sounds mankind has created, comparable only to the cry of a nuclear warhead as it detonates and engulfs the earth around it. Combine that with that beautiful ping of the ear-candy snares, forming the roar of the shockwave decimating everything in its path. And of course, the tried-and-true indecipherable goregrind toilet gurgles. Love it or hate it, you won’t find many releases without this genre trademark. It all sounds so lovingly crafted for the intention of obtuse, savage sonic palettes. Or perhaps just haphazardly thrown together and miraculously grafted into these blissful tunes, like accidentally dropping a bowl of spaghetti and ending with a perfect recreation of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night on your floor.
First we will be discussing Pixel Death, the eldest of the two EPs in question, and I’m gonna get straight to the point and put this in technical terms. This one is a real stinker.
This was my initial baptism into their sound earlier this year, as many friends of mine were very excited for its release and had convinced me to give it a spin, and man is it a terrible way to be introduced to an otherwise phenomenal band. I consider this very much the black sheep of their discography.
For one, this album forgoes their trademark sludgy, atom bomb guitar tone and pingy snare for a more traditional grindcore tone and average sounding drum kit, and dare I say forsakes their aesthetic of barbarism in exchange for an admittedly delightful retro video game album cover, the EP also features a couple neat chiptune interludes to back up this sudden change of artistic approach. This was not by design but by necessity, as the man behind FDOH, Tapo, had broken his guitar prior to this album and was forced to use synth guitar instead, my guess is the retro aesthetic was meant to play off this.
This style will appeal more to fans of early Carcass or Active Stenosis, both bands I quite like, but it doesn’t really do much for me here, it feels like an extremely watered down version of a band I know can and have done better, not to mention the chiptune songs sound very out of place and shoehorned in. This is to no fault of Tapo’s and was just the cause of bad circumstances and possibly rustiness from a short hiatus before this release, so I hope this doesn’t come off too harsh. Might still be worth a try if it sounds like something you’d like, but I find it dreadfully boring, sadly.
Atrocities is much more akin to the rest of their material and feels at home within the shallow but every expanding bowels of their discography. It is animalistic, remorseless, and knows how to rattle both your eardrums and your house with its tectonic riffs. Massive reverb-filled guitars consume everything and barely lets a single audible note squeeze through the wall of sound, except for the odd moshable riff-filled drum break. Seems unknown at time of writing whether a synth guitar was also used on this, but regardless it sounds fantastic and improves greatly on Pixel Death’s tone.
It certainly feels strange to call this “one of their best releases yet” when the band has only existed for a couple years, but with the size of their catalogue already and the rate at which it grows this definitely feels like a current highlight and a very, very welcomed step forward from Pixel Death.
Bands like First Days of Humanity will never hit the mainstream, but for the special few privy to delight in their filthy, noisy, and disgustingly crunchy decomposition of metal and punk into the next logical extremity, they’re are an absolutely wonderful band that deserve all your attention at this crucial moment in their career. But, just being honest with you, my favourite of theirs is still their debut EP Caves, so I’d recommend you start there if you wish to give this band a shot.
First Days of Humanity - Pixel Death was released February 2020 , and Atrocities was released May 2020
First Days of Humanity can be found:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!