Humiliation - Turbulence from the Deep
Deepsend Records
Death Metal
11 songs (43'58")
Release year: 2013
Deepsend Records
Reviewed by Alex

Working steadily from the concrete jungles of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Humiliation is up to their fourth full-length with Turbulence from the Deep. Unlike many other death metal bands from that region that go for more brutal music, Humiliation distinguish themselves with cleaner produced war topic oriented death metal. In a recent conversation with a friend who was born in Malaysia I learned that the horrors of World War II did not escape that country. When people were fleeing their villages from Japanese invaders they often had to hide in rivers or lakes, and if any of the babies made noise they had to be drowned to save the whole village population. So the subject of war, turns out, is not foreign to Malaysians.

Intense marine battles were waged off the coast of Malaysia in early 40s, with the Allied forces losing a number of ships and being completely overwhelmed by the Japanese Navy. And it is marine warfare then that Humiliation is focused on with Turbulence from the Deep. Imagine Bolt Thrower tank replaced with a nuclear submarine engine roar and you will start getting an idea of the Humiliation sound on this album. (Not that I have ridden in either war machine before, but I am pretty sure it is loud in either of them). The name of the game for the album is groove, with a capital G, sometimes sped up with a quick trashy moment, but mostly mid-tempo. Punctuated by well-placed drum rolls Operation Obeo One even sounds a bit like Old Man's Child Doommaker from The Pagan Propsperity. Bear Bee’s vocals are rather legible, not too guttural croaks. In a way, he sounds like an evil head priest from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Made for mosh and head banging Humiliation groove is often very catchy. You would notice your head bobbing in agreement uncontrollably plenty of time. The problem with the band's songwriting, however, is the songs are a little too long for the 1-2 riff (un)variety they offer. Towards the end of the album Home Front and Total War hit the perfect length with just over 3 min, but the first half of Turbulence from the Deep often overstays. Also, the songs are made from predictable repeating parts, as if from the pre-made Lego blocks, and thus the overall result sounds a bit formulaic. Anyone of these songs taken as a standalone will rock, but as an album Turbulence from the Deep runs together. To compound that problem the band is not too keen on solos, but when they do throw one in, they move the needle towards more primitive God Dethroned (Bachok’s Invasion, Total War). The inclusion of brooding elephantine melodies (Phosphorous Shell) furthers the comparison with Asphyx and Bolt Thrower, but monster groove always manages to eschew any doomy stretchiness for Humiliation eventually (The Deadly Double). Closing with a quick instrumental, borrowing its quiet strum from Moonlight Sonata was unexpected and shows that Humiliation is not above expanding the palette, but overall the album is a pretty standard war metal affair, no more and definitely no less. The promise is here, and the grooving rules, but more is needed for a bigger breakout.

Killing Songs :
Operation Obeo One, Total War, The Deadly Double
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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