Release Date: February 11, 2022
Genre: Melodic Death Metal, Groove Metal Label: earMUSIC
Los Angeles-based melodic death metal/groove metal quintet Once Human are back with their most dynamic, flourishing, and visceral record to date. Since Once Human's inception in 2014, the band has steadily and confidently established themselves as one of the many rising names in the modern era of metal acts across the globe. The band consists of vocalist Lauren Hart, guitarist Logan Mader (ex-Machine Head), bassist Damien Rainaud, guitarist Max Karon, and drummer Dillon Trollope. With their latest and third record, Scar Weaver, the five have certainly cemented their continued legacy within the metal scene. Scar Weaver features some of the band's grooviest tracks and most astonishing, high-powered vocal performances yet to be heard.
Right out of the gate, leaving it smouldering hot, Scar Weaver opens with the blistering opening number, "Eidolon." The band delivers a groovy banger immediately, with blistering yet immensely groovy seven-string guitar riffs, pulsating bass lines, and heart-pounding drum beats, all wrapped around Hart's stunning vocal reach. Closing out the first track is a breakdown made up of a sonic wall of pure bass and aggression. "Eidolon" is sure to get you out of your seat and want to scratch the itch to mosh around. Hopefully, something that can happen very soon with the band in a venue setting. The following track, "Deadlock," is another groovy, bass-riddled piece that happens to feature Mader's former Machine Head bandmate Robb Flynn delivering his own spin to a Once Human track. Unlike on "Eidolon," the track's guitars aren't overpowering everything in the mix, so on "Deadlock," they don't drone out the bass, leaving Rainaud's bass lines crystal clear in the mix. "Deadlock" easily has one of the most -if not the most- infectious choruses on the entire ten-track album. The album's title track, "Scar Weaver," takes the band closer to their roots with a more simple melodic death metal style track. However, it is chock full of elements -primarily on the guitar- that you'd typically hear from a technical death metal guitarist. It's a wonderful clash of styles. The fourth track off Scar Weaver is the chuggy and oh-so-blistering number titled "Bottom Feeder." An instant modern metal classic in my book, "Bottom Feeder," takes the band on a tour de force, all across the board from all five members. As aforementioned, Hart delivers one of her best performances with Once Human on Scar Weaver. "Bottom Feeder" demonstrates it all. Notably, Hart sings cleans and screams, showing off her fiery vocal range. Her cleans are powerful and quaint, while her screams are as vicious and intrinsic as ever. Both Mader and Karon aren't afraid to make sure to use the entire guitar on "Bottom Feeder." As melodic as the guitar riffs are on this album, this is the most diverse. The two do it all, from playing chugging riffs to scaling across the fretboard and more. "Erasure" sees the band continuing to experiment a little bit with their sound. It's a slower number, allowing everything to breathe a bit more but still being their good ol' heavy selves. Additionally, Hart performs more cleans, which are unlike the cleans heard on "Bottom Feeder." The eighth track -and the shortest track on the album- "We Ride" is one of the album's most fast-paced numbers. "We Ride" is at a breakneck speed and features erratic, finger blistering, and melodic guitar solos unlike any other. "We Ride" is as chaotic and extreme as they come on Scar Weaver. The guitars are meaty, with the occasional change between hard-hitting thrashy riffs and brutal-sounding chugs. The vocal performance from Hart is absolutely diverse and quite strange. I can't muster up the words to describe this particular track's vocals. It leaves me utterly speechless every time and just needs to be heard to get the most of this track. Scar Weaver comes to a close with its final piece, "Only In Death." A track -that once again- features Hart singing cleans, but her harsh, distinct screams are more forceful and guttural yet.
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