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Anyone: In Humanity

Hot on the heels of the 2020 release On The Ending Earth… comes In Humanity, the 2021 outing from Riz Story’s progressive rock one man endeavour. The project’s previous album impressed, without, for me, ever really quite managing to shine as brightly as it often hinted, but I have to say that this lengthy, 100+minute, two disc affair, while arguably too long for its own good, does a much better job of first grabbing and then keeping a hold of your attention.

The mood is remarkably singular throughout, especially considering the breadth of what’s being covered here, and if I was pressed for a comparison, I’d suggest that a busier, more overtly prog Tim Bowness would be as good a likeness as any. The reason being that it’s through an engagingly unrelenting melancholy that In Humanity gets its intentions heard, although at times that downbeat delivery can indeed be busy, bright, bold and brash. Right from the off “Elations” and “The Disappearing Everything” show the divergence that comes together here, powering percussion playing off against patient, intentionally fragile vocals and gently howling guitars. These are themes on both discs and while that may suggest an approach that loses impact across an hour and forty minutes, it’s never really the case.

“The Pale Blue Dot” does offer a change in tack, pulsatingly busy percussive patterns pretty much possessing everything the track has to say. Story is, after all, an accomplished drummer and it would be fair to suggest that’s an aspect he’s never particularly shy in illustrating on this album. A more King Crimson like complexity also makes an appearance here, proceedings never being straight forward, but when they do move into this more technical arena, it proves a welcome change of focus, even if it never lasts too long.

Back in the early days when Taylor Hawkins was also part of this set up, Anyone’s singer was Jon Davison and he’s back here to lend a vocal hand on “Misanthropist”. The expressive vocalist doing an excellent job of offering a different aspect to proceedings as Story gives him room to shine on another almost Discipline era King Crimson exercise in obtuseness with a purpose. Cleverly though, these passages are used more to break things up than to build the overall mood and tone, with the ten minute closer, “Curtain Call” showing just how effective In Humanity can be when it stays true to itself and leans back into the earnestness that proves such an engaging anchor for this whole endeavour.

In Humanity is an excellent album that knows exactly what it is and exactly what it was always meant to be. Arguably, even with no real weak moments, it is just a tad too long to make it a regular listening experience. However, if you really want to sit down, concentrate and engage with an album’s vision, then this is a piece of work perfect for those moments.

Track Listing
CD 1

1. Elations 

2. The Disappearing Everything

3. Apocalypse

4. The Pale Blue Dot

5. Emergence

6. Don't Swallow Tomorrow 

7. Whole World's on Fire 

CD 2
1. Transfiguration

2. On the Ending Earth... 

3. Misanthropist

4. The Madness 

5. In Humanity

6. Curtain Call

Added: March 5th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Anyone online
Hits: 1379
Language: english

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