United States death metal pioneers Cianide have returned! Seeing that that they’ve been going hard since 1988 and haven’t released any full-lengths since 2011’s Gods Of Death, their effort Unhumanized shows that the band is alive and well. This would be the longest amount of time they’ve gone without a full-length, and although this is probably more fitting for an EP than anything, there’s enough content to quench any thirst for OSDM.
Despite many an older band cleaning up their sound significantly, Cianide avoids that here. The murky environment gives off the feeling of sailing through a dark and mossy cave full of bloodthirsty creatures. The guitars are so fuzzy that it pulsates the overall output, feeling quite threatening. Better yet, the vocals match that and fit right in. Slower trudges like the intro of the title track exaggerate that to higher degrees. And since the mix is so well-done, you don’t miss the drummer sneaking in some cowbell there. I’ll admit that higher guitar licks do get eclipsed thanks to this, but nonetheless, it’s still compelling.
With only five tracks, Cianide sure does do a lot. It should go without saying that it’s packed with faster and blistering numbers to contrast the doomier approach of the title track. The fast-punching “Traitors” and opener “Serpent’s Wake” give a healthy portion of that for you, the former having some classic-esque grooves. But my personal favorite is “Weapon Of Curse.” This one’s a steadier, rhythm-dense song that trades-off tremolo riffing and slower burning, tied together with a massive bridge in the middle. Unhumanized ends with “Shadow Of The Claw,” a full-on doom/death number that definitely delivers, but I’ll admit could have worked without.
If a record only comes in around twenty-five minutes but manages to be this dense, you know you’re in for some type of treat. There isn’t a bad moment presented here, even though it’s difficult to pin down one main musical idea. It’s a large bite to swallow, but a quick one at that. Anybody into older death metal should, without a doubt, seek this out.
Unhumanized will be out on December 27th, 2019, through Hells Headbangers. Find a vinyl or CD copy and hear it digitally here.