Recorded by Misha Hering at Holy Mountain Studio (who also did their “Other Realms” EP in September 2017) , Mastered by Magnus Lindburg and featuring some impressive album art by Andrei Bouzikov, London crossover Thrash crew Inhuman Nature who feature former members of HangThe Bastard in their ranks have brought to the plate their self titled debut album. The band comprises Vocalist Chris Barling, Lead Guitar work from Ben Taylor, AJC on Rhythm Guitars, Bassist Jack Wilson and last but by no means least drummer Simon Grubb. Just remember Nora frontman Carl Carl Severson sang “Nobody Takes Pictures of the Drummer” but the kit is a vital cog in the wheel!
Opening tune “Taste Of Steel” isn’t the version that has been available since June 2018 via bandcamp. This is a 32 second shorter version of the track that harnesses Inhuman Nature’s inner Power Trip with an older production value giving it a real 80’s Thrash vibe. The synths of that original version by Misha Hering are long gone and instead this cut is a Thrash-ter-piece about the end of humanity with serious headbangability. “Carnivorous Lunar Activities” uses the same elongated introduction instrumental styling before bringing the vocals in after 66 seconds so at a live show, the circle pit will be in full force by the time that happens. A buried backing vocal adds a cross-over hardcore style vocal element while the riffage has a “Beneath The Remains” era Sepultura vibe that the artwork also conjures up with a brief solo flourish and some closing lead work being very Andreas Kisser. Perhaps short lived, they have you wanting more with a whammy bar solo being something that isn’t present on this cut. Chris Barling’s barked dry vocals have more in common with Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus fame than anything else. Continuing the classic Thrash lyrical themes “The Hangman Draws Near” bounces round your head like a bullet ricochet and we finally get that solo that the earlier pair of tracks had been begging for, albeit not a full jawbreaker. Inhuman Nature clearly prefer the riff-o-rama chugging to the balls out solo. First single proper from the album “Satan’s Claw” takes a slower start, crawling out from beneath some feedback into a bass heavy riff that belongs to the fist pumping, patch covered denim jacket wearing front row headbangers all day long. Chris Barling’s storytelling style works really well in the context of the bands sound, the riffs drawing out in places to give the wordier lyrics space to breathe. Conceptually the convergence of Heaven and Hell has been covered before but Inhuman Nature make it their own with a few Stephen King inspired touches.
Entering what will be the second side of the vinyl edition “Lines In The Sand” takes on a slower more menacing opening riff as it climbs from the feedback and a lead flourish that you want more of. It’s 80 seconds before the first verse kicks in so the instrumental stylings of the song are already well established by that point, however a tempo change into the opening vocals brings a more satisfying pacing to proceedings. That whammy bar solo finally makes an entrance on this cut, although it is perhaps cut shorter than we’d like if we’re being greedy. “Forgotten Tombs” on the hand establishes a riff and then launches headlong into a solo before the verse kicks in and Chris Barling starts screaming about the curse of the ancient ones, like a plague or a hex on the World. It’s the shortest cut on the album at 165 second but that suits the flow of the album perfectly. The drum sound throughout is very much straight out of the 80’s Thrash era, perhaps in part due to the choice of Simon Grubb in terms of the elements that comprise the kit itself and his playing style and in part due to the way the album has a whole has been mixed and mastered. Taking a leaf from the book of more modern crossover thrash bands like Toxic Holocaust, “A Nuclear Frost” talks about wiping the slate clean to allow humanity to start over. It’s bass and drum intro adds a momentary breather before the guitars kick in with a solid drive. There is a much richer sound to this one with some extra lead work throughout adding another layer of depth to the ocean of guitars. “Holy Command” brings with it an early Slayer inspired stomp with classic Thrash tones and the vocals having an extra je ne sais quoi about them, perhaps being later in the recording sessions or post a longer vocal warm-up. Probably our favourite cut on the album as a whole, it will go down as a stone cold live stand out, best served with a beer. It’s a fitting closing to an album full of era inspired work that begs to have the play button pushed again as it’s all killer, no filler from start to finish – there is no fat to be trimmed on this beast! [8/10]
1. Taste Of Steel
2. Carnivorous Lunar Activities
3. The Hangman Draws Near
4. Satan’s Claw
5. Lines In The Sand
6. Forgotten Tombs
7. A Nuclear Frost
8. Holy Command
“Self Titled” by Inhuman Nature is out on 25th May via Injustice Records (EU) and Brainwreck Productions (US). It’s available for pre-order on June shipping vinyl limited to 250 copies here.