Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Review: Nolongerhuman – 'Withdrawal'


Clint Robertson's harsh ebm monster Nolongerhuman returns with 'Withdrawal', the third full-length outing from the project. The previous alum 'Depersonalization' firmly established the band's sonic formula of blending the genre standards – such as the recognisable synth sounds, distorted vocals and dance-friendly beats – with melodic intros to hook the listener in. It's a formula that Robertson continues through the new album and it is very effective.

Musically the album may be the kind of thing you'd expect from a harsh ebm act these days, thematically Robertson continues to reject the typical violent and sexual subject's of his peers and opts instead for political, personal and social themes.

Everything on 'Withdrawal' feels harder and more direct than before. Tracks such as 'Stop.Listen.Think.Infest', 'Apostate', 'Raptor', 'Lusus Naturae' and 'The Death Hour' go relentlessly for the jugular with their blend of punishing dance beats and strong synth leads. While the likes of 'Modern Narcissus', 'Sychophant', 'The Forgotten' and 'Quiet Desperation' bring out some dark electro melodies to add another layer to the writing. There aren't many points for slower contemplation as even the longest of sinister ambience are completed by an explosion of hard beats and scathing synths.

The album is well mixed and produced with the heavy use of distortion on the synths, beats and vocals not simply melding together into a wall of noise. The final execution, as with the song writing itself is very strong and a testament to how far Robertson has come with the project.

There is perhaps room for a little more variation in the sound, with some quieter counterpoints to the ferocity being welcome. But on the whole this is a solid offering that at ten tracks feels complete and doesn't feel the need to fill the disc with unnecessary bonus remixes. It's a loud statement of its own merit.

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