Grim Observations – Walking Corpse Syndrome – Human Delusion (2015)

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You might be aware of my review of the previous record by these Montana brutal groove metallers Alive In Desolation, of which I heavily praised. Well, they’re back with a successfully funded Kickstarter release in Human Delusion which I can certainly say was worth all the money that the fans put into it. As for the music here, it resembles brutal death metal but utilizes more of the groove elements that you’ll hear in more modern acts like Slipknot or Chimaira. Leif Winterroad commands an incredibly speedy vocal approach, which almost can come across in the same manner as the rapped vocals that Canada’s Archspire perform. I’m personally a fan of quick to the throat approaches like this and will even be using something like it on our next album (spoilers!) but I can certainly understand how some heads wouldn’t get it, as it is decidedly modern. However, there’s no semblance of core to be found on Human Desolation and Winterroad’s vocal approach is full of the kind of gravel that you’ll find on any Cannibal Corpse or Deicide album. They even cover Slayer’s “Disciple” (3:46) which fits such a modern approach almost perfectly.

Human Delusion is the kind of record that contains a mostly chuggy atmosphere throughout, with a slew of solo moments and the main course in the vocal delivery; as I’ve already stated. There are some slightly experimental melodies to be found here and not everything is cut and dry, almost hinging on the slightly technical; but if you love classic rap (not that hip-hop garbage) and death metal, you might find something to this mixture. To be honest, I’ve always been a fan of classic rap music as well as rock and heavy metal, and I especially like ridiculously fast approaches to the style like the great Busta Rhymes, for example. The man was amazingly quick in lyrical delivery, which is almost what Winterroad manages to do in this more metallic and excessively brutal atmosphere. Years later, I came across early Slipknot where I’d found a great mix of this classic rap style and rather punchy metal, which I’d played rather profusely as a teenager. Now listening to Walking Corpse Syndrome, I feel I’ve found the next evolution of this style – It almost makes me think of Dethklok’s “Facefisted” which although in parody, did manage to convey this mix of rhyme and death grooves perfectly.

To some people or maybe even a great deal of heads, this might be a little too much for them and I can understand that. But I’m the kind of person that could listen to this record three or four times in a row without getting tired of it. It’s the sheer mix of groove and death and rap that really does it for me and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I really love this stuff and if you’re not ashamed to admit that you do enjoy other approaches besides the tried and true, you might find something here as well. Although I strongly disagree with a few of the lyrics in the title track, (but can completely understand the fact that one wouldn’t want to and shouldn’t want to become a slave to the ideal of another – I do feel that there is more to this existence than that of dust; especially as far as quantum mechanics is concerned – and curse you Takumi Nakazawa, for your info-dumping mindfucks and introducing me to Schrodinger’s cat) I ultimately find that the performance here in Human Delusion is well worth the ranking of a top review and would highly recommend it. In no uncertain terms, I say to you that we might be looking at the next Slipknot here and they come without masks, agendas and over-inflated egos (looking at you, Mr. Corey “comes home to cry into a giant Hello Kitty pillow every night” Taylor) of which we can all be thankful for. I don’t know what the future entails for these ripping brutal groovers, but I definitely hope that they reach that pinnacle of success of which they deserve.

While not a very long release, Human Delusion still manages to hit it’s point home rather well. They could further beef up the music in areas, giving the songs more structure while possibly appealing to an entirely different crowd in the process; but we all know that this sort of thing would kill the hook-laden nature of such a beast and we wouldn’t want that. Easily digestible to some, yet undoubtedly cringe-worthy to others, this record is a “love or hate” affair that challenges what we perceive to be extreme heavy metal music. It’s worth a listen, just to see if you have a taste for it. I love it. Will you?

(10 Tracks, 36:00)

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