Nasum

Human 2.0

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    8
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Human 2.0 is Nasum's second album, and the one that really put the band on the map as a grindcore powerhouse. The title and cover art are meant to evoke a sort of man versus machine theme -- or of man and machine becoming more and more closely intertwined -- but the "2.0" aspect also applies to the music's place within the (by this point) maturing grindcore genre. For a genre based on extremity, it has still developed its traditions and norms like any other, many of which are present in Nasum's music: dual vocals (i.e., low growls versus higher screams), short songs lined up one after the next with little pause in between, etc. Nasum upgrades this old format, not based on any radical songwriting advances but by the sheer intensity of the band's performances and by the roaring, near-industrial sound the group creates as a whole, a sound brought to life by the chiseled, diamond-hard recording job on hand here (the work of guitarist/vocalist Miescko Talarczyk). When the bandmembers occasionally slow down from their usual full-throttle speed and settle into a half-timed groove, as on "The Idiot Parade" and "The Professional League," it is monstrously heavy. Is 38 minutes of this type of abrasive grindcore too much to digest in one sitting? That depends on the listener, but either way, this album is just about a must-hear for fans of no-frills grindcore, especially the more hardcore punk-leaning variety.

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