Thirteen years in and Humanfly have produced an album that is, without even the vaguest bouquet of doubt, a serious contender for the best prog metal album of 2013. Incorporating the classic prog of Genesis, Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd et al and blending it with the more contemporary designs of post-rock, sludge, metal etc., ‘Awesome Science’ runs the full gamut of musical exploration and expression. Time, feel and mood changes, subtle atmospherics, and digit-defying riffs and more all find themselves exploited in the unusual and always surprising structures and arrangements across the album.
Opener ‘Golden Arrows’ has a mellow majesty to its intro that blossoms into a full-on progressive tune that explores an array of timbres, tones and dynamics – even taking in a spacy improv passage akin to Pink Floyd’s ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ – in a sumptuous eight minutes. ‘A Majestic Story’ follows a similar path from a soft beginning that very slowly builds, giving the music time to breathe and develop, seemingly, of its own accord. From ‘The Apple That Never Fell’ with a hint of Tool in its mesmerizing rhythms and discordant chaos through the syncopated space jazz of ‘Poetry Of Light’ and into the hardcore that opens the fifteen minute ‘The Armour Of Science’, Humanfly just keep pushing the bounds of their music. With King Crimson and Gong battling it out in the extended jams of this latter track, Humanfly’s musical unity comes to the fore, their technical unanimity producing all kinds of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic delights. And with ‘Frozen In Time, Billions Of Light Years Away’ plotting a similar path to ‘Golden Arrows’, the album’s perfect circle is closed.
There may be a few flaws here and there but these are overshadowed by the clear, concise and controlled level of musicianship and songwriting in every instance of the work. Intelligent in design and unreservedly passionate in delivery, this is an album that will satisfy musos as much as it will those that simply enjoy music. ‘Awesome Science’ is the kind of album that every band strives to create: creative, challenging and most all, inspiring.
Review by Jason Guest
11th Feb 2013
1) Golden Arrows
2) A Majestic Story
3) The Apple That Never Fell
4) Poetry of Light
5) The Armour of Science
6) Frozen in Time, Billions of Light Years Away
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Intelligent in design and unreservedly passionate in delivery, this is an album that will satisfy musos as much as it will those that simply enjoy music."