France’s Kaets might be labeled as death/thrash metal by ye olde fiends at Metal Archives, but what they forgot to tell you about is all the groove, technicality and musical progression that you’ll find here. This isn’t the kind of death/thrash that would make you think of an act like The Crowned and there are actually a lot of slow groove pieces in effect. Could we say djent riffs? Well, yes. I’ve noticed a few that might be a mixture of the two, but here that is not a bad thing. In places I’m even reminded of southern thrash/groove legends Pantera. That’s in both the vocal approach and the grooves themselves, of which this record wholly seems to consist of. Human Machine is not a speedy thrash disc by any extent of the imagination, and sounds like a more technical and artsy version of what a bunch of Cowboys From Hell made down south around two decades ago. Despite these thick grooves, the record still remains very textured as the listener will soon discover that many unconventional patterns are being mixed together in ways that seem almost alien. To call them a more intelligent Pantera fits pretty well, but let’s also consider that there are a lot of modern elements still in play here. Vivi and Ben might be able to produce mounds of groove with their axe-playing skills, but Dimebag Darrel they are not. However, they still manage to bring the blues (Fuckin Rain) and even some black metal influence (The Last Dance) into the mix, the latter of which comes with an exceptionally brilliant solo. Perhaps what Kaets have done here is to craft the groove record of 2015, instead of the groove record of 1995. It truly feels like it has a futuristic vibe amidst all the piss and vinegar pumping through and I’m really, really happy with it. It’s worth saying that this record didn’t catch me at first and I believe that I either cast it away or just wasn’t able to cover it at the time in lieu of other things. Though in any case, I’m quite glad that I was sent a copy for review and through it, I was able to rediscover the album. I’ve been jamming it for the past few hours now and I definitely feel that I can recommend it to death and groove fans looking for something more. This is the band’s first album, so hopefully it will only get better from here. It’s quite different from the norm, and certainly needs more exposure.
(10 Tracks, 39:00)