Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 8/1/2006
posted on 6/2007 By:
San Francisco’s Sol Asunder ply a pretty generic but enjoyable form of melodic death metal, but it’s competent and solid enough for fans of the genre, and like fellow unsigned melo-death act The Fifth Sun, the production and presentation is excellent, and the band's hard work and dedication shine through, though not as good as The Fifth Sun, musically.
All the usual classic Gothenburg influential suspects are here, namely Dark Tranquillity and even a tad of Arsis, but unfortunately lead off by the rather drearily tempo-ed opener “Beneath the Surface”, Horribly Human gets of to a rather unspectacular start. However, “The Element” cranks up the pace a bit delivering a melo-death tour de force, but unfortunately it’s a quality Sol Asunder can’t seem to keep for the album’s duration, except for the excellent “Redeemer” and urgent fueled Anger”, but even then I’m not utterly blown away.
The rest of the 10 tracks just seem a bit flat and uninspired, if adequately conveying the genre requisite canter, gallop, dual guitar licks and even acoustic introspection (“Sorrow Sets the Sun”, “Intermission”) like they read the manual. Truth be told though, I have heard worse. Vocalist Mica Maniac has the requisite mid range rasp with the odd deep bellow, but his delivery mimics the music--hard working but still a bit short of anything more than average. Whereas The Fifth Sun sound like a signed act (though criminally so), Sol Asunder sound like a better quality yet still unsigned act trying very hard.
Ultimately, despite decent musicianship and a solid grasp of the genre, Sol Asunder just lack that extra ‘it’, to make Horribly Human more memorable and stand up against the generally better European competitors that sweat melodic death metal in their sleep. That’s not to say there’s not promise in the band’s delivery and songwriting--there certainly is. However, as of right now the band can only dream to achieve the status of their European peers while still looking up slightly at US acts The Fifth Sun, Cerberus and The Absence as a benchmark for their US take on the genre.
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