NonHuman Era – NonHuman Era
Release Date 27/11/2015
Running Time 53:34
Review by Rick Tilley
I really think I’m going have to reduce my enthusiasm for all the music we listen to at Ever Metal otherwise you lot out there are going to think I’m in love with everything I review or I’m just giving it a positive score to please the band. Believe me, there is plenty that never gets reviewed for one reason or another and there is plenty that I’m not keen on but with the amount of music we receive I’m itching to get, what I think, are the best of the best releases some publicity, and with that in mind, you aren’t going to see any muted enthusiasm for the next band on my list because they are fantastic!
NonHuman Era are from Montreal, Canada and were originally conceived by drummer Rick Dessi and guitarist Carlo Zappavigna , who are also cousins, back in 2007. It took several years for them to get the pieces they wanted put into place but once keyboardist Marek Krowicki was found things started to move forward. It was then that vocalist Piere St-Jean and bassist Jean-Francois Vincenti (both from the band Alcoholica) completed the lineup and these five started in earnest to bring the sound of NonHuman Era to the masses! Their debut, self-titled album, released at the tail end of 2015, is the result and I really want to thank the band for contacting us and sending the album over for a review because it is a masterclass of Progressive Metal that has given me the same feelings I got when first listening to Symphony X, Threshold, Pagan’s Mind and Dream Theater. Yes, if you are into any of those big hitters then NonHuman Era are going to blow your socks off, in fact possibly a lot more than your socks!
When it comes to brilliant Progressive Metal I like to hear a good mix of experimentation (without things going all Frank Zappa on me), shades of light and dark, great guitar work, vocals and keyboards and soft, beautiful melodies, but above all I want it to be METAL and, by the gods, NonHuman Era deliver on all fronts and present a beautifully produced, mixed and mastered album to boot!
Another band that I’m reminded of when listening to NonHuman Era is Adrenaline Mob and you may think that’s an odd choice considering the other bands I’ve mentioned, but of course there is a connection as Russell Allen sings for both them and Symphony X and Piere St-Jean bears more than a passing vocal likeness to Allen. In fact it’s almost uncanny how much they sound alike at times, but I’m not complaining because Russell Allen is, in my opinion, one of the best Metal vocalists around at present. That gives you some idea of the quality in the NonHuman Era ranks. All the musicians in this band are amazing and they have crafted some of the catchiest and most groove laden riffs that I’ve heard for a while, check out the stunning neck shaking riff that hits you just before the amazing guitar and keyboard solo in ‘Hollow Point’ for proof. However, as good as they all are, it’s Marek Krowicki that, to me, comes across as the stand out person here. His keyboard work is exemplary and the inclusion of piano entwined with the heaviness of riffs is absolute beauty to behold! This is another band that has a myriad of ideas and influences meaning that the twists, turns, time and tempo changes could come across as messy in lesser hands but they manage them effortlessly. No one person tries to be heard above any other meaning that what comes across most is the quality of the composition!
At this point I would normally name a few tracks and talk a little about each one but, invariably, the reader then thinks they are the songs that stand out the most so I’m not going down that route. This album is nearly 55 minutes, although the quality means it feels shorter so, in an age when many people download their favourite two or three tracks, I’d like you to do something for me. Put on your headphones, sit next to your stereo or wind down the window in your car and put the whole album on from start to finish because this album deserves uninterrupted and full concentration. There is no ‘best track’ because there is absolutely no filler here and each song glides so smoothly into the next one it’s important to appreciate the ‘whole’
This sounds way too professional to be a debut so goodness knows what NonHuman Era have got up their collective sleeves next. All I know is I cannot wait to hear whatever it might be because this is a band with a huge future! I’m going to say it again but anyone out there who says the Rock and Metal genres are dying and we don’t have talented bands around anymore needs to take a long, hard look at themselves because bands like NonHuman Era will prove you wrong every single time! This is sublime!
1. A New Breed
2. Elements Of Chaos
3. Hollow Point
4. Damage Over Time
7. The Destiny Machine
8. Night Bleeds Into Day
9. Shattered Icon
Pierre St-Jean – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Carlo Zappavigna – Lead Guitar
Rick Dessi – Drums
Jean – Francois Vincenti – Bass
Marek Krowicki – Keyboards
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.