How long did you think it would take a supergroup or side project, even one that had a reception as successful as Sinsaenum, to produce a sophomore record after their debut? I hadn’t much thought about it myself as I’ve still been cuddling with my copy of ‘Echoes of the Tortured’ every night. But here we are, a mere two years later, and they’ve already dropped another one, fittingly titled ‘Repulsion for Humanity.’
Featuring past and present members of *deep breath* DragonForce, Slipknot, Chimaira, Dååth, Loudblast, Seth, Mayhem… the list goes on and I have a word limit. But by already beginning a list like that, I’m gonna make a new rule now: Take a drink every time I make a reference to another band in this review. Because, from the directly connected to the vaguely similar, there are going to be many. Prepare your livers.
The toothy expressionist piece on the album cover was done by none other than Travis Smith (Opeth, Amorphis, Black Crown Initiate, Katatonia, and a surplus of other happy customers), who must have been trying to portray the joy of evil and chaos that the band cannot convey visually, as smiling is strictly prohibited in Death Metal. Even so, it’s one of the best covers of 2018 and it brilliantly captures the overall themes explored in ‘Repulsion for Humanity.’
Who else but co-founder and absolute beast Joey Jordison (former Slipknot, Murderdolls, Scar the Martyr and current Vimic) to lend his drums and experience with horror themes to such a project as Sinsaenum? As ‘Echoes of The Tortured’ was seemingly written to template a horror soundtrack (with half of the whopping 23 tracks serving as brief, unsettling interludes), ‘Repulsion for Humanity’ follows this pattern with seamless fillers closing and introducing each of the 11 songs, while filling them all to the brim with deep, crunchy riffs reminiscent of Sepultura, Dethklok and early Hypocrisy, powerful tandem leads delivered by DragonForce bassist Frédéric Leclercq and Loudblast frontman Stéphane Buriez, and Mayhem main man Attila Csihar‘s unmistakable voice adding a little extra depth to that of Sean Zatorsky, who has taken the lead in this project.
As if Sinsaenum itself were not already the epitome of an ongoing international collaboration, guest vocals were prominently featured in the first album’s lead single Army of Chaos by members of Sigh and Destruction; this time around we have some downright monstrous vocals from the once-human Lauren Hart of Once Human laid down on stellar track Sacred Martyr. There’s also a frighteningly organic layer to the music, especially on tracks like Insects and Manifestation of Ignorance, the latter sounding a lot like a Slipknot song at first before being interrupted by the obvious uproar of death metal accompanied by haunting, hellish bells.
Riffs. There are a lot of them, each more memorable and difficult to skip over than the last. Final Resolve is an early and profound example, a suitable successor to the ferocious title track. The serpentine riff opening Nuit Noire immediately sets the mood of the pitch black night from which the title is derived. This is arguably the best song on the album, easily distinguishable by Sean whispering sweet nothings of insanity and paranoia, and the percussive death march into Frédéric’s explosive guitar solo which could rival even that of his comrades Sam Totman and Herman Li. It’s no secret, Fred can f*cking shred.
If I could close this review with a song rather than with words, it would no doubt be the album’s closer, Forsaken. But I’ll have to settle for a thorough description; it’s very black. Like, blacker than the deep abyss of your morning coffee kinda black. It has a slow, apocalyptic feel that makes you imagine little hope of absolution on the other side. In many ways it perfectly encompasses what the entire album is all about.
If you’re a misanthropic horror fan, then it’s the soundtrack to everything your darkest fantasies and wet dreams are made of. ‘Repulsion for Humanity’ ticks all the boxes: horror, darkness, insanity, violence, fluffy bunnies, and Death Metal. Everybody loves Death Metal, right?
GET YOUR HANDS ON SINSAENUM’S ‘REPULSION FOR HUMANITY’ FROM SEASON OF MIST HERE!