ALBUM REVIEW: Humanity’s Last Breath – Ashen


It’s inevitable: the world will one day cease to exist, and mankind will be relegated to the pages of history like everything that’s come and gone beforehand. How or when that happens is anyone’s guess. But Humanity’s Last Breath gives us quite a glimpse of what the apocalypse might sound like. 

Their fourth effort, Ashen (Unique Leader) is a life-or-death affair from start to finish. The Swedes formulate a somewhat avant-garde brand of deathcore, and every second that elapses is one step closer to the conclusion of us all. The good news is the population gets to go out with a literal bang. Within the confines of Ashen is a bevy of blistering tracks. Though not afraid to take it slower here and there, Humanity’s Last Breath creates metal that makes the listener want to smash everything precisely because it won’t matter much anyways.


The opener ‘Blood Spilled’ is readying an ambush or a barrage (or perhaps an aerial pummeling from the angry gods). ‘Instill’ features titanic bouts of vocalized pandemonium and ‘Death Spiral’ (sounds like my high school experience) is simply erratic, off the rails, and disturbing. ‘Linger’ eloquently paints the picture of the reckoning in real-time. Ruthless and tinged with subtle atmospherics, it’s an anticipatory, devastating song. 


Industrial-sounding whines, creaks, and sputters portend a possible AI takeover. Additionally, choppy guitar notes and morphed vocals begin to spell the evolution of whatever lies in wait.

Sparsely placed clean(er) vocals tease the listener with a hopeful sense of normalcy, but it’s clear there is no hope for humanity after all.


As for Ashen, it’s a seismic entry into Humanity’s Last Breath’s ever-improving discography. And if it happens to be the last bit of music we ever get to hear as a society, well, that wouldn’t be too bad now, would it?


Buy the album here:

8 / 10