|Withered In Isolation
If for some reason you already know Humanity Zero — founded in Athens back in 2003 by the multi-instrumentalist known as Dimon's Night — you might remember them as a band (perhaps a bit too much) fond of death metal, which had started inserting a few sparse doom metal elements in their latest work "Execution Ground" (2014, the first one with current vocalist Giannis Grim)
Their new effort "Withered In Isolation", released in 2017 via the omnipresent Satanath Records, marks a very clea… oops, dark change of direction, beginning with the logo and cover artwork. Off with the bloody writings of the previous records, off with the flames of hell: this time we delve deep into the utter darkness of death-doom metal. Another addition in the lineup is the violin player Stelios, that contributed to bringing the album closer to the classic sound inspired by My Dying Bride, in his first work with the band.
Here are more than fifty minutes of putrefaction put together by the Greek quartet, the fans of this specific genre will recognize pretty much all the main features of the stuff we like so much: from growled suffering to the guitar and violin melodies intertwined with keyboards, from the death metal accelerations to the lyrics focused on solitude and darkness (I believe the best two songs are "Solitary Confinement" and "Blood Redemption").
Speaking as a death-doom metal listener, I can definitely say that "Withered In Isolation" gave me something more than Humanity Zero's previous works, which were too tied to a style of death metal that I believe doesn't have that much to say anymore. However, it will be quite tough for this record to have a big impact apart from seducing some death metal listeners towards the abyss of doom, and of course attracting some interest from those who really can't live without throwing themselves into despair with another death-doom metal band.
I wasn't particularly impressed by the sounds of the drums and by several choices (such as the ending of the aforementioned "Solitary Confinement"), while things went much better in terms of guitars and vocals. In conclusion, with "Withered In Isolation" we can gladly welcome Humanity Zero to the world of darkness, wishing them to find a consistent formula that can help the band emerge in a pretty crowded scene.