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Death Metal

Reinventing Death: A Look At HUMAN’s ‘Delicacies Of Extinction’

With FYA Fest 8 having finished so recently that crews are probably still cleaning up blood and sweat from the venue floors, it is impossible to ignore the destination that Florida has become for fans of hardcore. That said, it will take many more bands like xElegyx, Ecostrike, Bind, and NoComply for Florida to become synonymous with hardcore the way it has with death metal. Any list of the most important artists in death metal is likely to include bands like Atheist, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Massacre, Gruesome, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation, Hate Eternal, Nocturnus, Monstrosity, Cynic, and, of course, Death, all of whom (with a New York vs. Florida exception for Cannibal Corpse) hail from the Sunshine State. Fortunately, musical talent is not a finite resource, and Florida’s punk and metal are bound to cross-pollinate to create some very special stylistic blends in their native bands.

One such band, one that manages to live up to the state’s prestigious reputation while breaking every stylistic mold its created, is Orlando trio Human, whose debut, Delicacies of Extinction, is now out on vinyl through Silence is Death Records, having sold out of their cassette in a day upon its first release. Jake Smith of Silence is Death reminds fans:

As with all SIDR releases, the profits of this release will be donated to radical organizations and individuals fighting for the complete liberation and lifting up of black and indigenous peoples and all those affected by white supremacy and colonization.

First covered by Cvlt Nation here, this debut introduces a band that needs no time to cut its teeth, as it’s already baring them, bloody and foaming and aimed at your plump little arteries. Eschewing more common death metal lyrical fodder for more punk-oriented social commentary, Delicacies of Extinction opens with the gloves-off anthem “Brown Scare.” Beginning with a drum-cam-worthy exhibition by Josh Dulcie, the track erupts into a Terrance Hobbs-ian hammer-fest, with bassist Eric Montáñez and guitarist (and world-renowned hummus expert) John Farran delivering fretwork that is technical without sacrificing catchiness, classic without sacrificing invention. Combining Montáñez’s and Farran’s dual vocal attack, the instrumentation on Delicacies of Extinction creates a monstrous, complex commotion that belies the fact that this music is being performed by only three people. The clockwork precision and mathematic riff-composition and gravelly bellowing, along with the gritty realness of the songwriting, gives the listener an idea of what Meshuggah would sound like if they preferred playing DIY house shows. Not a minute into the track, the band shifts into a lower-gear, conjuring a Yautja-like sludge section that feels like the racetrack installed a mud hazard. This eyebrow- and fist-raising move is a good representation of a band that has the boldness and confidence to, moments later, deliver Farran’s shredding, soaring guitar solo over nothing but Montáñez’s thundering bass and Dulcie’s surgical drumming. The lack of an extra guitar track or any other production tricks to “thicken” the sound is part of what preserves the punk feel for this stylistic hybrid, one that is reaffirmed during their subsequent syncopated breakdown. This opening track is an apt introduction to Human. Their brilliant musicianship shows that they could very well be riding the wave of new death metal that is so popular right now, but they would rather not be pinned down, opting instead for the genre-hopping genius of a band like Backslider.

The musical forays continue on “Green Desert,” which opens with a Rootsera galloping of toms that is joined by bending guitars before breaking into an industrial-gone-analog palm-muted blitz that sounds like the listener has wound up in the wrong end of a factory assembly line. Unlike many metal bands who believe one genre or another can’t incorporate guitar solos, Human incorporates them powerfully and outstandingly. The solo that ends the track connects the menacing axemanship of early NWOBHM like Satan with the modal tapping of Buckethead.

The precision continues on “Blue Graves,” whose opening tremolo-picking, blast beats, and inventive riff melodies conjure a grind Celtic Frost before the song devolves into a thick-foreheaded, hammer-fisted, swung mid-tempo mosh to remind one of the band’s hardcore elements. The band emerges from its breakdown by doubling down on its grind, increasing the speed without neglecting any of their special knack for memorable, inventive riff-writing. The song merges with the catastrophic and creative “White Jesus,” which manages to integrate melodeath, beatdown, old school doom, and a fantastic arpeggiated 6/8 section.

“Days of Rage,” for which the band released their first video, is a highlight, a bombastic assault of split-second fills, HM-2 buzzsaw tones, Dulcie’s singular adaptivity to the song’s constantly changing landscape, and Montáñez’s thudding bass complimenting his defiant and anguished roar of righteousness.

The apocalyptic “M.Y.O.E.” is a raining down of power, an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink metal assault that changes its rhythm, tempo, and style nearly every four measures. It is further evidence that this band has writing chops to spare, considering most bands would take each of these sections as a centerpiece of a whole song on the album. Human has too many riffs for that kind of economy, spending wheelbarrows of death metal artistry on every track.

The album’s title track, “Delicacies of Extinction,” is a suitable ending point, with its broad scope and giant stature. Despite its average length in relation to its album-mates, the song feels especially monolothic, like Human’s mission statement is a sonic one, like what they have come to do to move the death metal genre forward, by breaking all of its mores and never saying “no” to a good idea. The irrepressible energy created by this trio is luminescent and incendiary, burning down the old scaffolds that have for too long held death metal back, disallowing it from growing to its full creative potential. They are a light in the darkness.

Guitarist John Farran spoke with Cvlt Nation about Human and Delicacies of Extinction.

Who are the members of Human? What other projects do they have?

John Farran (me), Eric Montáñez, and Josh Dulcie. Currently, I’m in an HC band called Android, but in the most recent past was in a black metal band called Dzoavits. Eric most recently was in a disgusting band called Cannabass. Also, was
in Republicorpse. Josh was in Khann.

Is your name a reference to the Death album? If so, can you talk about what that band and album mean to you?

In a way, yes. It is a reference to the album since we all love and cherish that album, but it honestly has more to do with the actual title and its magnitude. Death definitely used that title cause it meant a lot, and I think we are just doubling down on it.

What are the band’s major musical influences?

As a band, we honestly enjoy the full spectrum of music. Death and Morbid Angel, even Carcass are definitely our direct musical influences. However, more often than not, we will be rocking Herbie Hancock, or Charlie Parker, oh also a lot of punk and hardcore.

What are the band’s major sources of lyrical inspiration?

The world we live in, mate. We are singing about revolution and police brutality, whitewashing, the rapidly deteriorating environment. A lot of it is a call to action; however, I think some of it is just us trying to process things we have been dealing with our whole lives.

I want metal to be inclusive, with no time for elitist bullshit. And definitely no time for racist sexist fascists.

Death metal seems to be going through a bit of a renaissance right now, especially in the U.S. and Canada. Why do you think there’s been this resurgence in popularity?

It’s interesting to be honest, especially for us, because we have been into death metal for a long time. I’m inclined to say the brutality of the times calls for outlets on this level. I don’t think it’s anything that happens overnight, but definitely how harsh reality is for millennials and Z’s is likely to do with it.

Because of the genre’s history there, is it challenging to form a death metal band that breaks out of the mold as much as Human does in that state?

I don’t think so, because that scene, the legendary death metal scene that includes all the death metal greats doesn’t really exist. They are just large touring bands, them being from here is relatively irrelevant. I’m even told by some of the older people around that even at the time those bands never really operated on local level. Like I still take some pride in them being from here, but to follow up on something said early, I think the environment contributes to the sound more than its local history. And then the metal scene that remains isn’t a purist one. Which I’m happy to say, because if it were it would be upsetting.

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Your approach to death metal is unique and integrates some other genres. What would you say is the band’s artistic vision?

I don’t know if we have a focused vision. The truth is we are dudes who have individually played in bands for longer than half our lives, and the actual sound isn’t necessarily as important as the need to play. So when we started jamming we just wanted to make it pissed and heavy cause I think that’s how we felt and it evolved naturally from there. However, I will say that many people we know and have been around this scene for a while said we sound like “Orlando”. Which to be honest is hard to describe in words. Would just recommend listening to the Orlando greats we came up playing shows with like No Qualms, Knife Hits, Republicorpse… honestly too many to name.

What do you love about death metal right now? What should change?

I love that is not as cringe as it used to be and is getting less cringe every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a metal nerd and all that comes with that. But I want metal to be inclusive, with no time for elitist bullshit. And definitely no time for racist sexist fascists.

Can you describe the music scene in Orlando and Florida in general?

Orlando is an interesting place cause it’s actually fkn huge, but the scene is very small. It’s the type of place where if you’re into metal punk hardcore electronic indie or art, you are in the same scene. And honestly, that’s something I love about Orlando. I know most major cities are very spoiled with labels. Here, you end up connecting with a lot of people you may not have, cause your interests aren’t exactly the same. Leads to something truly special.

Are there local bands that more people should know about?

That’s a tough one right now, off the top of my head — Intoxicated, Daisy Chain, AOL, Red Rodeo, Witchbender, and Channel 83.

How did you get involved with Jake and Silence is Death?

Jake is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met, Orlando ex-pat and one of our best friends. Eric and Jake grew up together and were in Blackbloc and Republicorpse and some other bands. He was also in Khann with Josh. He is definitely a dude I would send everything I work on just for his opinion. He heard this, then told us about SID and how he wanted to put out the tape for us and donate all the money and we were like hell ya, that’s exactly what we wanna be able to do with our music!! So it worked out perfectly for us. But honestly, just a privilege to call the dude a friend. Nothing but love and respect.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Human is the brutality we deal with every day on every level, we suggest smoking loud and playing it loud.

Just wanna say thank you for giving us the time and the opportunity, we play music cause we have to, anything else that comes along with it is truly a blessing.

Pick up Delicacies of Extinction at Silence is Death Records.

Delicacies of Extinction was recorded by Mauro Cordoba and Niel Anilao.

It was mixed by Ryan Haft and mastered by James Plotkin.

Album artwork by Vivek Vasudeva.

Written By

Evan lives in Arizona and works as an English and History teacher. He loves to learn new things and meet new people.

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