My memories of 2018 are inextricably linked to amazing music. Life has been fairly unremarkable, but for the sonic highways I have followed which led to me writing for the great Metal Nexus site. Thank you Fist, for taking me on and for the whole team being like family. I am blessed that I can creatively vent through this fantastic site.
This year has seen my love for Metal music being well and truly filled. It has been another bumper year and I hope my top album picks make for interesting reading and lead to people listening to the albums. Whatever you do, please support the artists and I look forward to even more great music in 2019.
There will always be heart in music. There will always be power in music. There will always be thought in music. Combine them together and you get The Human Project. The group are a melodic, but technical, punk band from Leeds in the UK. Their debut album ‘Origins’ was issued in 2013, and the long awaited follow-up ‘Clarion Call’ will be released in 2018, accompanied by touring across the UK, Europe, and Japan.
The band paint on a political canvas and nail their colors to the mast with songs about the cutting of public services in the UK and the vote to leave the European Union (Brexit), both of which they argue against.
The band released the very catchy “That One Percent” in advance of the album. Expaining what it means, vocalist/guitarist Luke Yates comments, “the everyday, on-the-ground results of the austerity regime are this kind of bland injustice, laughably obvious in the way it is targeted, and, in the way it is backed up and spread by people with vested interests in the media, but unfortunately inescapable for most ordinary people.”
‘Clarion Call’ took over five years to write and was eventually brought to life by producer Andy Hawkins.
To nail my colors to the mast, this album is a monster of epic proportions and is likely to be in my top ten of the year. In true Frankenstein tradition, it is built on sounds and thoughts taken from many genres, but has been pieced together with real care and attention. Where the record differs from Mary Shelley’s creation is that the monster did not know why it had been created. Here, The Human Project know why they created the album and the vision they have is second to none.
The album’s box of secrets is wrenched open with the thoughtful lament of “Desperate Times.” There is soft piano and clean guitar, as the fabulous vocals kick in. The singing is a key(sic) to the record and raises it above any other release in the pop punk genre. I am afraid I don’t know who sings what, as all the members take vocal duties, but all do brilliantly. It is like fusing progressive rock harmonies to fast ascending punk riffing. The whole collection reeks of class (ironically, given the band’s championing of equality).
My ears were drawn to “That One Percent,” which spits out the band’s disdain for the Conservative political party’s behaviour in the UK with their policy of austerity in terms of public spending being cut. It is a tune that lives long in the memory and, once inside your brain, keeps looping as a mega ear worm – you have been warned!
“Knocked For Six” smacks your sensibilities with aural overload. The high register vocals absolutely make this song. It has a sound that is arrestingly unique and familiar at the same time. The guitar tone is also a pleasure to hear; fuzzbox in 4K for sure.
Although the ball of wax moves at a million miles an hour, there are some moments of quieter reflection, like on “Carrion,” allowing listeners to breathe before the technical beauty of “What We Always Do” comes striding onto the playlist and the adrenaline surge runs us to the end of the collection.
Suffice to say, I love this album so much that I would marry it, if I could. Human in name, gods in musical terms. The best album I have heard for a long time.