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Humm: No Empathy Before Doomsday

Humm is the one man project of Fabio Gatti, everything from vocals, guitars, bass, synths and programming down to the lone Italian. As is the mixing, the mastering and the artwork. And the songwriting. And that's the beauty and the downfall of this debut offering. The beauty comes from an album with real depth of emotion, the post-black metal outpourings utterly believable and engaging. Factor in subtly brilliant artwork in the CD booklet and the only thing that lets this release down are the decidedly ordinary vocals and the worryingly sharp production, where the only answer to get the real oomph behind the aggression is to turn the volume dial down! And that's not very metal, is it?!

What is metal though is the churning riffs and surging atmosphere, which can deftly dart from traditional to brutal in the blink of an eye. Check out "My Brother's Light", (which according to the media player I placed this CD into, features a solo by Fabio's brother Dario - although the booklet suggests it is "Roots Are Piercing The Clouds" that he gatecrashes the one-man-band for. Listening to it, I think the booklet wins!) to feel the disparately cohesive approach. Vocally Fabio's expulsions come across as naive and unconvincing. There's little doubt that heart, soul, throat lozenges and a big glob of phlegm were all spat into each and every song and yet the pretty much spoken growl is the only performance aspect of the excellently titled No Empathy Before Doomsday that I simply can't connect with.

It's easy to suggest that if Fabio would let others contribute to Humm, then they'd suddenly blossom into a headline act of some note and yet, there's a danger that diluting the potion here could diminish its spell. If the shortcomings of this otherwise excellent and interesting debut can be taken on board and acted upon, then we may all be Humming a very different tune very soon indeed.

Track Listing
1. Bloodred Whales Chase
2. Poseidon
3. Nephilim
4. Kintsugi
5. My Brother's Light
6. Roots Are Piercing the Clouds
7. Døden Og Livet
8. Blank Premonition
9. Autumn

Added: March 1st 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Humm on BandCamp
Hits: 976
Language: english

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