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Superhuman - "As Human As We Are" (CD)

Superhuman - "As Human As We Are" CD cover image

"As Human As We Are" track listing:

1. Lost In Time (3:18)
2. Voices (3:02)
3. Hey You (4:03)
4. Too Far Away (3:35)
5. All My Good Intentions (4:01)
6. Overcome (4:07)
7. Cream (3:20)
8. Lose You (3:12)
9. Transformation (3:19)
10. Sinners In Eden (3:33)
11. Alone (3:40)

Reviewed by on February 7, 2009

"The overall mix of Superhuman's 'As Human As We Are' is a blend of classic metal with sleaze styled hard rock, and is one that is easy to listen to over and over."

There isn’t really a good term to describe the vocal style of Superhuman’s lead singer Kristian. Earthy, raw, and sensual are just a few that come to mind. It’s as if the singer is trying to sing past a lump in his throat, but it’s more than any one word. It’s a quality few possess, Alex Band of The Calling being the only other modern artist who comes to mind, but hearing it causes a tightness to form in the pit of your stomach. Melodramatic perhaps, but it’s the kind of voice that makes young girls swoon, and teen boys raise their fists.

In fact, the entire “As Human As We Are” album has this dark appeal. The songs are heavy, not to be confused with a genre, but rather a weight. They possess low tones, lots of bass, vocals that are mid range at best, and guitars that grind rather than wail. The one exception to this is “All My Good Intentions,” which features more cymbals and finger strums rather than sustained chords.

Snippets of glam styled gang vocals are found on “Lost In Time” and “Too Far Away,” but the instrumental aspect of Superhuman sits somewhere between the middle of Metallica and Nirvana. At times they are mellow and laid back, and at other times they are guttural and heavy. “Sinners In Eden” blends these styles seamlessly, where light verses are answered with a heavy chorus, and an opening acoustic closes with an electric guitar that climbs the treble clef slowly and intentionally.

“Overcome” is another great example of dark meets light, where fast tempo lyrics and bass drum add an edge that complements classical cellos and violins. The best part of this song is when an electric guitar dukes it out with the deeper toned cello. An orchestra also accompanies the band in “Hey You,” where the strings play a ballad in response to the band’s grunge flavored instrumentals.

They even pull off a cover of Prince’s 1990’s hit “Cream,” and the result is amazing. The original’s feminine vocals are replaced with a throaty, more hardcore sound, a bluesy guitar is added, and hard-hitting drums convert the track from a cheesy pop tune to an edgy hard rock song.

Experimentation is part of what makes Superhuman so appealing, combining classical with hard rock and metal roots effortlessly. Still, there’s enough rumbling bass and hardcore guitar riffs to call Superhuman a metal band. “Lose You” and “Too Far Away” both feature classic metal sounds, complete with distortions and sleaze guitars. “Lost In Time,” another good choice for metal fans, is a bass driven track, low toned and heavy on the drums, while “Voices” switches to a slow and steady drumbeat, broken by a mid-range guitar solo that spirals back to the chorus.

Varied time signatures in “Transformation” make it unique from the rest of the album, as do the rhyming lyrics. The final track, “Alone,” begins as a vocals driven love song, the chorus becoming more intensely charged with the addition of a bass drum, before returning to vocals that crescendo both in loudness and agony. The overall mix of Superhuman’s “As Human As We Are” is a blend of classic metal with sleaze styled hard rock, and is one that is easy to listen to over and over.

Highs: Intense vocals and bass-focused instrumentals.

Lows: Rhyming lyrics in “Transformation.”

Bottom line: Fans of melodic metal will be pleasantly surprised by this group.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)