This is the fourth album from Swedish death metallers Humanity’s Last Breath.
Following on from the monolithic juggernaut that was 2019’s Abyssal, Humanity’s Last Breath have pulled out all of the stops and produced their best work to date. Välde is 54 minutes of malignant modern death metal darkness.
Where can you find atypical technical death metal, pummelling blackened deathcore, cruel Meshuggah-style djent, and gloomy post-metal introspection all in one place? Here, that’s where. Not many bands could pull off something like this, that’s for sure, but then Humanity’s Last Breath are not your average band.
Humanity’s Last Breath have essentially taken what they did on Abyssal and improved upon it. They’ve also widened their range, incorporating more creative ideas, such as an increased use of imposing synths, more composition choices based on mood and feeling, infrequent deployment of orchestration, and the occasional very effective inclusion of dark clean singing. On Välde teh band have pushed their unforgiving sound further into atmospheric and dissonant waters, making for a dark, bleak record that crushes the listener not only with the sheer weight of the guitars, but also with its grim atmospheres and forbidding moods.
Yep, Humanity’s Last Breath have taken things to the next level. Välde is colossally heavy, ridiculously so. Taken by itself, this doesn’t necessarily mean that an album full of that sort of material would hold the listener’s attention particularly well. The genius of Humanity’s Last Breath, however, is that they’re well aware of this, and have infected Välde with a corrupted blackened strain of nightmarish atmosphere that bleeds into almost everything on here.
Some of the elements on Välde sound seriously creepy, while others sound downright horrifying. If Abyssal had a cold, harsh, inhumanity to it, then Välde has taken this into the realms of pure demonic malevolence. This album is evil and wants to terrify you while simultaneously crushing you with guitars the size of continents. It’s a heady, intoxicating, frightening combination that makes for an impressively moreish album. Välde may be a horrifying nightmare, but it’s one that your can move your entire body to.
Essential listening, what more can I say?