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Human Sculpture - "Our World/Torn Down" (CD/EP)

Human Sculpture - "Our World/Torn Down" CD/EP cover image

"Our World/Torn Down" track listing:

1. Deconstruction
2. A Heart
3. The Wait

Reviewed by on October 22, 2011

"'A passionate, homegrown take on a popular recipe.'"

Melody-tinged death/thrash and raw, sludgy hardcore seems about as original a combination as peanut butter and jelly these days, and far easier to screw up. But the classic lunchbox staple tastes best when your mom makes it, and so too does Finnish quintet Human Sculpture narrowly avoid bland musical mediocrity – theirs is a passionate, homegrown take on a popular recipe.

This three-song EP is the months-old band’s musical résumé, the distillation of sounds both past and yet to come, and it shows promise. Unlike what currently passes for “metalcore,” Human Sculpture evokes a time when the mixing of European and American influences felt novel, fresh, and difficult to pigeonhole.

Aptly titled first cut “Deconstruction” lays these influences bare in a pleasing, orderly fashion. For every thrash section, there is a vicious, bouncing groove, and for every old-school incarnation of what we today call a “breakdown,” there’s an irresistible melodic hook. “A Heart” steers left into familiar, modern breakdown territory, but rather than fritter away its duration in that urine-soaked pool, the song keeps on its toes with an intermittent Pantera-esque riff and the occasional speedy blast. And finally, “The Wait” brings the thrash screaming back, this time with an unmistakable Gothenburg infusion coupled with smooth tempo shifts that lightly borrow from progressive metal. The whole thing recalls the organic hybrid of separate genres that metalcore once was, before it became its own bloated leviathan and killed the early excitement.

As nice as it is to hear that this style of metal can still be played with conviction and command your attention, there lurk within “Our World / Torn Down” vast reserves of dormant talent that may, one day, unleash something dazzling and original in its own right. Until then, just enjoy the ride with Human Sculpture and pray it doesn’t derail before its time.

Highs: Solid, crushing riffs, sharp hooks, smooth song structures, and overall musical competence.

Lows: Far too derivative for a distinct identity, but give 'em time.

Bottom line: A surprisingly impressive blend of melodic death, thrash, and metalcore from a talented new band.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)