Human Remains - _Using Sickness as a Hero_
(Relapse, 1996)
by: Brian Meloon (7 out of 10)
After a lengthy delay that included a name change or two (to "Remains" and back again), Human Remains finally released their debut EP. The band hails from New Jersey, and play a chaotic, heavy brand of death metal. As with Within (see review this issue), they have a few sections which sound "quirky" or "goofy", which helps to break the monotony. This EP is pretty short, with seven songs clocking in at roughly 20 minutes. But this might be just as well, as a little of this style goes a long way, and the album might get boring if it were any longer. Overall, this is a good effort, but I find it a little too unfocussed for its own good. Some of the parts are too chaotic to retain the heaviness that they appear to be going for. In fact, I can't really judge how tight they are in these sections, because they usually go by in a blur, with the bass and drum parts totally decoupled from the guitar parts. Otherwise, though, the playing is very tight. The vocals are okay, and the singer reminds me of a more aggressive Chuck Schuldiner, as some of his vocal parts have the same kind of discernible sneer. In any case, the production is great, with a heavily distorted bass, and brutal guitar tone. It's an enjoyable listen, but with a little focus (like Within), it could be better.

(article published 18/11/1996)

11/18/1996 A Wasylyk Human Remains: Revealing the Remains
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