Hailing from Moscow, Russia, yet with a French name that translates as ‘The Absurd Human’, L’Homme Absurde are a progressive post-hardcore five-piece, consisting of vocalist Alexey Slavin, guitarists Alexandr Safronov & Roman Savenkov, bassist Pavel Gorshkov and drummer Evgeny Loboda, and they’ve been gradually building their reputation since their formation in 2016. With their fusion of metalcore and melodic black metal, they hope to continue to spread their absurdity across Europe with their newest album “Belong”…but do they belong in my ears? Noob Heavy PR asked me to check it out…
The album opens up with “0” which is pretty appropriate given the way this album kicks off…it’s all about momentum, all is still as we get nothing but relaxed percussion and some semi-dreamscape acoustic instrumentation while the record comes to life, as it’s pulse strengthens, but we suddenly find ourselves enveloped in a blanket of brutally tortured vocals and a more metallic approach in tone, despite its melodic retention. It gives us a sense of artistic drive and direction early on, for sure. First track proper then “Rot” capitalises on the surging blackened metal tendencies the band have by pummelling the listener with a barrage of semi-psychotic instrumentation. Equally melodic yet mauling; it summarises the bands sounds wonderfully.
This can be said of album highlight “Separation” too which takes an almost early post-punk direction with the initial guitars, before we break into more snarled vocals and post-hardcore riff work; this is arguably as catchy as things get over the course of these eight tracks, finding it’s home between the likes of KVELERTAK and MAN THE MACHETES. It’s up-beat and rocking, all the while groove rich and melodic, and a superb piece of modern metal. Elsewhere “Burn” and “Forsaken” continue this approach of searing blackened melodies while incorporating subtle doom atmospherics into the more traditional metal guitar work, before we eventually finish up on ”Sanctuary”. The semi-acoustic opening and soft vocals allowing for a sense of closure and finality to wind the mood down somewhat…or so we thought, as this too erupts into a visceral barrage of pained vocals at the tracks midway point, peaking with a final flurry, before the low-key instrumentation transitions right back into “0” and we appropriately come full circle, as the album essentially loops, which is cleverly done.
Overall, while Russia isn’t exactly prominent in the world metal scene in terms of household names, L’Homme Absurde are clearly equipped to throw down with some of their more established Scandinavian neighbours. Blackened metalcore may sound a touch niche on paper but there’s enough here in terms of subtle variety to at least warrant checking this out for most fans of alternative heavy music. It’s a solid album and one that could potentially find them larger audiences across Europe, and to suggest otherwise would be, well, absurd.