MICK MERCER

HUMAN DISEASE
Our Flesh Deception

Strobelight

I like having expectations flung in my face, rather than any physical objects rebounding from my nose, so this album pleased me enormously. The press release spoke of Deathrock, the sleeve is Ethereal, the album itself is topped and tailed by two lightly Industrial twinges; the sort of thing a hardened reviewer expects in a week’s work, but in between all that is a form of 80’s inspired Goth high on energy, artistry and ambition, and importantly low on unnecessary explosions or drama.

I can’t tell you much about them other than they’re from Rome and formed in 1997, with some links to Chants Of Maldoror. The main thing you need to know is that once past opening instrumental ‘Vial Of Misery’ you will notice ‘Nativity 33’ is run by catchy drums, buzzy guitar and slowly advancing vocals, that have quite an early Cure tinge to them. Think ‘A Forest’ but with slower, dappled spells of wistful keyboards. The excitement goes on with little drum pushes, as the guitar then lays back to let the mood swell. ‘Gold Flames Of Angels’ reinforces this simple charm, having little claps and a very lean energy, highly attractive in its initial inception ‘Artistic Greed’ takes the same lightly lethal feel and while the slower guitar sounds rather exposed and fumbled, the drums are what make it tick over with style. The vocal style has become rather curious; part curdled whine, part heartfelt cry. In ‘Even Unblameable’ we meet some droll, bounding bass, and this track is artistically quite nagging with a lovely tricksy keyboards and drum phase.

So, they have already achieved impact. Without really gushing sounds, or rushing antics they show they can achieve fine moments. The songs are clear and taut, the sound inviting. ‘Mother Sodom’ has a nastier sound, but instead of Deathrock this is testing 80’s Goth in spirit and sound. Named after some Rozz lyric, they clearly understand that more artistic period of the movement, and are keen to get back to basics, which work and suit them so well. It’s played down and urging, and the angst-ridden but resigned vocals and swirly keyboards makes for a beautiful combination.

‘Disclosed In Flesh’ keeps falling back in on itself, allowing the drums to stoke it and stroke it, with little keyboard flecked charges, showing how they have a knack of wrenching excitement out of the slow periods. ‘Petals’ has a strangely wholesome feel, with very high, bright guitar illuminating emotive shadows. A more romping drums approach and pin-sharp guitar jittery sees ‘Chimera’ jerking into a more conventional pattern, as the song mopes prettily along. Collectively, this is heady stuff, when they’re really going, and the ornate, prickly sections would actually have made a beautiful song in their own right. ‘As My Ornaments Hide’ is more 80’s Goth capers with the pacey drum kick and light, airy vocals, on a simple song which chops and charges nicely and the whole experience is over in 35 minutes, meaning you’ll squeeze yourself into it all straight away anyway.

These are all wonderful songs that some of you will come to cherish

http://www.human-disease.com
http://www.strobelight-records.com
http://www.indigo.de