The Process Of Human Demise

Noble Demon
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Buried By Fear
02. Withered And Decayed (feat. Milo Silvestro of Fear Factory)
03. Reborn (feat. Corey Beaulieu of Trivium)
04. The Process Of Human Demise
05. Empire
06. Down In The Water
07. A Future Untold
08. All The Misery
09. Light It Up
10. No Innocence
11. A Grave For The False Ones
12. Venom Inside

It takes a song or two to realize that bands really don't make records like this anymore. The brainchild of former SOIL / DIRGE WITHIN guitarist Shaun Glass, REPENTANCE are a precision-tooled, groove metal wrecking machine and "The Process Of Human Demise" is their long-awaited coming-of-age. A first album, "God For A Day", emerged in 2020 and set down a sturdy template of murderous, modern thrash riffs, razor-wire bellowing and snappy, metalcore-adjacent song structures. Three years on, and one wholesale lineup change later, REPENTANCE are twice the band they were on the debut. Starting with an overall sound that wields metal's cutting edge like a weapon of war, "The Process Of Human Demise" is an upgrade on all fronts.

If you listen intently enough, REPENTANCE may at times remind you of everyone from PANTERA and MACHINE HEAD to CHIMAIRA and HATEBREED, but in truth the Chicagoans have taken those same musical blueprints and beefed them up considerably, making the resultant barrage appropriately brutal for the modern era. At times, this kicks with death metal intensity, and many of Glass's riffs are nasty enough to complete the picture. But foremost on the agenda are big, hooky songs and devastating quantities of life-affirming chug. The opening "Buried By Fear" slams the manifesto down with a shit-ton of attitude and several superb riffs; "Withered and Decayed" is a frantic, shout-along assault, with guest vocals from new FEAR FACTORY frontman Milo Silvestro (and yes, he's fucking great); and "The Process of Human Demise" itself is all churning, tar-black thrash and lumbering, doomy grandeur, with vocalist Adam Gilley convincingly losing his mind as the cacophony finally disintegrates.

Where REPENTANCE's debut was occasionally tentative and generic, "The Process Of Human Demise" is belligerent and unpredictable. Despite sticking rigidly to the carnivorous pummel of their established sound, they negotiate slower tempos and perverse detours with ease. "Down In the Water" is a particularly effective, slow-to-mid-pace sprawl, with giant riffs to spare; "A Future Untold" is a scowling, street metal take on IN FLAMES' seminal melo-death motifs; "A Grave For The False Ones" ambles down a morbid, atmospheric path, before snapping seamlessly into demolition mode, with the speedometer in the red and a spotlight on Gilley's sulphureous raging.

At heart, "The Process Of Human Demise" is an uncomplicated affair. This is brutal modern metal, immaculately produced. Scratch the surface, however, and this underrated band are filling a yawning chasm in the metal marketplace. They don't make records like this anymore, so REPENTANCE did.

Author: Dom Lawson
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