From Strength to Strength

I love getting my hands on obscure, previously unheard (to me) metal bands, and they turn out to be enjoyable – case and point Malaysia’s Humiliation, and their third full length album, From Strength to Strength.Admittedly I had zero expectation whatsoever, but amid all the proggy, tech death and deathcore ringing in my ears, Humiliation hit the spot like a artillery shell. Pun fully fucking intended.

What we have here is simple, no frills old school death metal that does a fucking spot on  Jungle Rot impression, so depending on your opinion of Jungle Rot (granted, mine was pretty low until last years surprisingly killer Kill on Command) you may or may not care for a Malaysian knock off. But, on the bright side, that also means a damn solid Bolt Thrower influence by association. War themed, chugging, riff based, thunderous death metal, and its done very well. The drumming isn’t exactly stellar, the songs plod by with a meandering pace, but there’s something about the primal, simple, down-tuned  tenacity and earthy rumbling that puts a grin on my face every time I listen to this.

I’m pretty sure I could leave the review at that and you guys would take it or leave it on the above paragraph alone, but seeing as the band probably paid a kings ransom to get this mailed to the US, id better expand a little. The album starts with a rousing instrumental, pummeling death metal, militant march before the duo of ” Days of Terror” and “Artillery Open Fire” deliver two salvos of pure, double bass, train chugging on a track, Bolt Thrower worship. The tone is perfectly set right of the get go, but Humiliation have enough chops and fresh energy to make what could be a stale, contrived sound pound with power and conviction. “Counter Offensive” has one of those unmistakeable, moody Bolt Thrower semi melodic solos amid the churning riff while “Nassau” has that deep, trundling tank tracks sound that’s got some classic Bolt Thrower hues going on.

“Blind Bomb” has a a little more melody and urgency, showing that Humiliation can change it up just a bit, but the bands influential bread and butter is never forsaken. But it’s not just pure rip off, though close. Humiliation add their own character and energy to the mix- for example, If the opening riff of “Preposition of Violence” doesn’t make your neck snap, you simply don’t like metal. Granted, as the album wears on the likes of “Fastkill”, “Manifesto of Lie” and “Struggle of Wills”  sound familiar, but the band also add some of their own history to the war laden mix in closer ” Bukit Kepong”- a song based on a bloody 1950 battle between a small Malaysian police  force  and a a larger force of Malaysian communist party terrorists, than has elements of Rorke’s Drift and The Alamo.

The band were kind enough to send me all three releases, and all three seem to have the same consistent , surprising quality. Though none will ever be deemed classics, this and the previous two albums certainly warrant a place next to your Decaying, Entrenched, Hail of Bullets, Invasion, Massive Assault and Jungle Rot CDs when you want some war mongering death metal to invade your next country with.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 18th, 2012


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