Once Human – Scar Weaver (Review)

Once Human - Scar WeaverOnce Human are a metal band from the US and this is their third album.

Brought to us my an ex-member of Machine Head, Once Human play a heavy brand of modern metal that is designed to get pits moving everywhere, but also offers a bit more depth than you’d expect. Think of a mix of bands such as Machine Head, Fear Factory, Gojira, Jinjer, Strapping Young Lad, and Lamb of God, and then add some increased progressive and technical metal influences, and a touch of classic heavy metal, and you’ll have a decent starting point for Scar Weaver.

Once Human hover around the heavier end of the spectrum, while still retaining an accessibility that means they’re definitely capable of wider appeal. Although I was honestly expecting a lot of metalcore-isms, I’m pleased to say I didn’t actually get them. Once Human are smarter than that, and although their music will undoubtedly appeal to fans of metalcore and groove metal, they have managed to craft their own personality within these crowded styles.

The songs are well-written and filled with song-based hooks and memorable moments. There are quite a few creative riffs to be found throughout the songs too. I like that the band don’t always choose the obvious option in the songs; Once Human manage to avoid many of the tired metalcore/groove metal tropes by virtue of the more inventive than unusual guitars and clever songwriting. It makes a good impression and improves the music no end. This comes from a modern progressive/technical metal influence that can be detected quite clearly in places. Once Human are attempting to walk a different path to many of their peers, and it seems they’ve found their own way quite readily.

The songs are catchy and memorable, filled with hooks, and all-round winners. There’s also an unexpected cover of Strapping Young Lad’s We Ride, which is really good.

The vocals are harsh and unforgiving, but mixed in with these are emotive semi-cleans and clean singing. Her voice sometimes recalls a mix of the singer of Gojira and Devin Townsend in style and application. As mentioned, occasionally we get some clean singing too; this is less common than the aforementioned styles, but really good. The singer certainly has talent, and her voice is strong no matter what she does.

Scar Weaver is definitely an above average release for a band of this ilk. Once Human have written a bunch of enjoyable, satisfying, very good songs, and it’s easy to get on board with their style of modern metal.

I haven’t liked a record of this sort this much for some time. Once Human are both familiar and fresh at he same time, and Scar Weaver is the shot of adrenaline that the more stadium-friendly side of the metal scene needs.

Essential listening.

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