20 Oct 2021

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Downfall of Humanity - EP Review: Deceit

10 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

It is not often that a band can say they have had the same line-up for more than 10 years, but Auckland metal act Downfall of Humanity can claim just that. Daniel Carleton (lead vocals), Alex Carleton (guitars, backing vocals), Bryce Patten (guitars, backing vocals), Ben Pegman (bass) and Ben Bakker (drums) have a reputation for always delivering the goods, and I count myself lucky to have caught them a few times in the last year. Musically the guys are very heavy, with elements of Killswitch Engage and Trivium in particular, while in Daniel Carleton they have an extraordinary singer who can come out with wonderfully melodic baritone or can turn on the gruffness with ease.

Having a singer who can perform in different styles, often within the same song, it invites the rest of the band to do the same, so while the common denominator is heaviness, they move through a myriad of styles, with everyone pursuing their own musical thread, weaving them into something special. This EP has four songs on the digital version, with six on the CD, but I only have the digital version to review so cannot comment on the others. The EP kicks off with the title cut, and straight away we hear the complexity of the band as intricate guitar lines become staccato, bass and drums combine to power the music along, and Daniel is throwing everything into it. There is so much complexity in this, with an incredible arrangement so that if one wants to concentrate on just one of the musical threads there is a lot to be gained. The person keeping it tight is bassist Ben Pegman, often maintaining the melody while everyone else hits off at tangents (there are some superb drum fills as well). This mix of gruffness and melody is taken even further in the next song, Litany of Hate, which features Isaac Drakeley of Pale Flag. While Daniel switches his vocals around, Isaac is in there laying down the heavy bottom end which takes this song to a different level. The guys say this is possibly the heaviest postmodern number they have written, and it certainly crunches like a good ‘un. Let us hope for some joint shows in the future as having these two singers vying for control is superb.

One More Lie is typical Downfall of Humanity, heavily melodic with complex riffing (imagine Savatage style melodies without the keyboards), and both guitarists also taking the opportunity to provide loads of widdly widdly. It is a song of sections, with repeated themes throughout, and is the most epic of the four. Having it placed straight after Litany of Hate works incredibly well as there is a substantial contrast between the two. We end with Voices, which is much slower and dramatically heavy which in the verse is far more basic with plenty of space within the arrangement. Yet it builds, with the drums being an integral part of the process, and by the time the double kick drum is making its impression it has stopped again. Yet again the bass keeps this all linked together, with guitars often tied in with the drums for maximum impact.

This EP has been way too long coming, as it has been five years since the debut album, but let’s hope there is more to come soon as this is great metal from a band who deliver onstage time and again.

Watch Deceit Official Video Here

Pre-Save Deceit EP Here

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Downfall of Humanity

Combining the raw power of meatiness, heaviness and brutality with the richness of melody and harmony, Downfall Of Humanity strive to get their audience headbanging AND humming to their tunes. Watch out for the occasional cheesy bit of on-stage antics... and prepare to sample some tasty heavy metal from the depths of West Auckland.

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