Humanzi – Kingdom of Ghosts (Album Review)

The time is finally upon us folks. The countdown is nearly over and an exhaustive three year wait is almost at an end. Tomorrow, Humanzi release their second album, Kingdom of Ghosts and Tickets There is delighted to say, it was more than worth the wait. Hell we’ll go further, they could have held out for another three years and it still would have been more than worth the wait. Quite simply, it’s the Humazi album we all dreamt it would be.

Opening with the ferocious Hammer, the band waste little time waging war on every one of your senses they can find. It’s a slow bruising thumper of a track that sucks you in on the first spin. The power, energy and sher heaviness of the band’s sound are all still there but the direction and bite in the music has grown so much stronger. An improvement that only grows as the record progresses. Just Like Bukowski has a similar feel. Heavy, pounding bass lines, bluntly distorted guitars against a wall of industrial synth power and Shaun’s gritty cutting vocals shred through the track. “Jesus, Jesus I’m joking”, heck no I ain’t!

Bass Balls may have been released as a single in August 2009 but that hasn’t stopped it from sounding fresh as ever on this record. That irresistible Cathy guitar riff, the pounding war drum and the vocals just make this song fly by at a million miles a minute. Black Sunrise see’s everything slow down but the tone of the song is no less intimidating than their other material. On the contrary, Black Sunrise is one of the most powerful compositions on Kingdom of Ghosts and marks a massive step up for the bands song writing and style. A bellowing bass riff drives the track along its path while the rest of the band create a desolate, unforgiving atmosphere of darkness that only break’s occasionally before the end when the pace increases and the everything comes crashing together to create a solid fusion of colossal harmonies and ascending guitars.

Like Bass Balls, Humanzi fans have been listening to Neu Tune for some time and it’s still pretty sweet here. Wouldn’t be one of the stand outs but on this album, but it ain’t filler either. Neu Tune’s prolonged; dance floor style is a long way from the stripped back, acoustic Amsterdamaged which follows. Padded with noisy muffled drum crashes, a light acoustic guitars and Shaun’s vocals standing up well without layers of music over them. The song has some of the best changes and an upbeat, catchy chorus (Almost all Manzi songs have a catchy chorus, stop saying it every time – Ed).

Straight Lines fires us straight back into what Humanzi do best, balls out rock!. It has one of the best riffs, one of the heaviest and catchiest choruses (What did I say! – Ed) and Tickets There just can’t get enough of this track. We managed to find a download of it months ago and still haven’t been able to stop listening. I’ll Repute is one of the bands defining stomper moments. Dirty war like anthem for all industrial punk dance floors. More accessible than Straight Lines, the song has a great flow, plenty of guitars, a funky bass and plenty of Humanzi’s dark tones. Love it!

Step Into The Shadows brings us towards the end of the album but never fear, they’ve saved some of the best till last. It starts off slowly and the band tease you for the first half as they give of the impression it’s about to explode before going quiet again. Eventually the stomping, beating vocals and guitars smash through, tearing the song apart. All finishes up with monster, galloping guitars.

Baby I’m Burning which is one of Tickets There’s favorites. Imagine Gary Numan covering Joy Division and you get close.  We keep associating it with the scene of the child on fire in Silent Hill and that adds to the creepiness. The chorus is much lighter and heartfelt than the majority of this record but it still sits perfectly on Kingdom of Ghosts. As the song develops they keep adding so many harmonies and changes that you’ll be memorized. How anyone could listen to this once and not click repeat is beyond us!

A few words in German introduce the albums last track, Shorter. Crunchy bass, military styled drums and a pretty direct guitars give early signs that this song means business. A change in the guitars and some added synths keep the suspense going before a restrained verse and chorus finish off one of the best albums Tickets There’s heard in many a moon. Shorter is similar to Neu Tune but the chorus is livelier and it’s a nice way to close of an album that’s almost non-stop chaos from the word go.

It’s punk, its rock; it’s a death disco bonanza of horrors. With Kingdom of Ghosts, Humanzi have proven that they’re only going from strength to strength. The song writing styles have grown far more diverse and been improved so much since the band’s debut album, Tremors. Yet they’ve retained the overwhelming power and raw energy they made their name on. The futures bright, the future is now HUMANZI!


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