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On disc: Human Void

Era Zero - Mike Thompson - 8 stars

Era Zero

Era Zero
(Crash & Burn Records - 2010)

Formed in 2007, Human Void is an industrial black / death metal quintet from Italy. Era Zero is the debut album. So what lurks behind the stark cover art?
Despite my usual avoidance of most bands who claim to have industrial elements I was quite looking forward to playing this album when it arrived. This eagerness was dampened a little when I pressed play and was met by a lot of electronic noises and static but I kept an open mind and was suitably rewarded. What Human Void have in this album is a collection of thoroughly enjoyable extreme metal songs with a huge emphasis on groovy riffs and crushing atmosphere.
The music varies from melodic black metal la Watain to melodic death with hints of industrial here and there. Only occasionally does the synth take over the music, with Human Void content to let the rasping growls of Gabry.x6x (who sounds like a cross between Children of Bodom's Alexi Laiho and Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ) and the excellent sounding guitars drive the music.
When the synths do take over the album does lose a little interest for me. There are some good atmospheric keyboard sections but mostly its just strange electronic noises and some of it just sounds a little too much like 'happy hardcore' dance crap for me (the intro to Self Human Combustion in particular), although fortunately not as overt as the likes of Xe-None or Next Waste Dimension. From a personal viewpoint I don't think the band need the industrial undertones as the metal part is good enough. However, it didn't ruin the album too much and I found myself getting to the end of the final track and immediately listening again! Of course, if you're a fan of this type of sound then Era Zero is going to be perfect for you!
This is a great debut from the Italians and hints at great things to come. One for the more open-minded black / death metal fans out there. Check out Extinction, Acid Rain, Tunguska and Human Void in particular.

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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