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Devin Townsend - Dublin - Jun 14


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Once Human | ‘Evolution’


Logan Mader has had a long a pretty successful career since Machine Head.

Whereas many will remember an oft-mocked run with Soulfly, the reality is that his last decades have mostly been spent as an in-demand producer for no less than Gojira, WASP, Fear Factory and dozens more.

Even at that, hearing him back out front with the guitar is arresting. I didn’t know this was his band; it was only when making a bee line to find out who the guitarist was I realised it was him.

(There werent any harmonics sounding over the riffs, and he’s changed his vibe considerably.)

But it must be said – the skill of his rhythm guitar on this is surprising.

If you haven’t heard Once Human before, they’re like a groovy, dark djent with atmosphere supplied by wailing leadlines over the riffs. Futuristic sounding, dystopian and energetic.

What’s cool is that Mr Mader is everywhere on the lower and indeed upper halves of the fretboard. Backwards, forwards, up, down. Not a phrase goes by without some unexpected finger wrangle.

The same can be said for the beats as well. Take a track like ‘Gravity’ or ‘Eye Of Chaos’. Both have an alien, Borg feel during their moodier moments, turning on a pin head into a good hair throwing 4/4 chug.

As modern and crisp metal goes it’s pretty cool.

Mader seems to have been influenced by the new school of guitar djent all the way from Cloudlicker to Disperse, and some of the sections are undeniably pounding (‘Dark Matter’) coming from a slightly more Deathcore lean.

It must be noted that Lauren Hart puts in a similarly impressive shift on the vocals. Way more brutal than Angela Gossow, her growl is pretty convincing, even if it wants for a slight bit of variation every now and again.

It shouldnt take into the excellent ‘Paragon’, six tracks in, for that glint of clean singing to emerge, as when it does, it’s very effective. Within her brief however, she’s pretty cool.

Logan Mader is possibly one of metal’s more unsung guitar heroes. He coined the sound and style of a certain moment in time, brief though it was – and no matter what that style went on to become, few would deny the importance of ‘Burn My Eyes’.

So to hear him back, two decades later, playing a much evolved style that’s as impressive technically as it is charged atmospherically, is proof that the man’s creative fires haven’t dimmed.

Quite the opposite, it would seem.

3.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 07/03/17



13 Comments
  1. Ah here, seen these guys supporting Fear Factory and they were fairly bad. Cover of Davidian at the end was the icing on the cake. Pass!

  2. massiveTractor Says:

    Hottest chick in metal quite possibly!! the band are fairly generic though. Also Seen them supporting Fear Factory and if it wasn’t for yer wan titillating the pants area I would have fucked off out for smokes for the duration.

  3. AntonArcane Says:

    Your one is fairly funny on facebook too. “Once Human is so metal they could make a man queef.”

  4. Agree with all above…when Mader decided he wanted a hot chick to front his band it put out a message that he wanted to grab the limelight (metal hammers etc.) quickly in favour of , what one can plainly hear, is substance. I too saw the band at the FF gig and the music really was pure pish. Were it not for her good self, id say everyone would have fucked off for a fag, whether they smoke or not!..on that track there, those vocals are completely monotonous tbh, but as said the guitar playing is top notch, not enough to save them though imo….that said Mader will always be a guitar hero or mine for BME and the often slated The More Things Change.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    waifu metal

  6. Barrytron Says:

    Yawn

  7. total crap

  8. John Kimble Says:

    Three guitarists…is that really necessary?

  9. Sedgebeast Says:

    Characterless Kemper guitar tone, seven strings all-round, ultra-clicky quantised bass drums, concatenated vocal roaring… I lasted about 2 mins. Mader’s riffs on the first couple of Machine Head records showed genuine invention and made that band what they were but this stuff is sadly playing catch-up with the Metal Hammer crowd. Fear Factory support slots are about the best they can hope for I fear.

  10. Poopy McPoopface Says:

    poo poo

  11. Duckydoodleface Says:

    If that’s the sound of the Metal Hammer crowd in 2017 it’s better than I was expecting.

    Really enjoyed the guitar playing and the amount of tempo changes. Sounds a bit like Vildhjarta.

    Sure your wan isn’t the most original vocalist going, but isn’t that pretty much every band that goes within a country mile of DM? At least she doesn’t break off into the saccarine bullshite that hobbles a lot of commercial bands.

    It sounds clean, but I figure that’s the idea.

  12. If the singer was a dude this wouldn’t even get a review. Pathetic stuff altogether

  13. massiveTractor Says:

    I commented earlier without having listened to the song. It’s actually pretty decent and stays mostly out of metal core and djent areas. I will give the album a spin anyway!!

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