Turbulence from the Deep
The first time I encountered Malaysian death metal horde Humiliation was in their performance with Impiety in the latter’s first show in six years, back in 2011. Despite the crowd mostly not knowing who they were, their performance managed to leave an impression on those who were present. 2 years on, the band has signed to Deepsend Records, with their fourth full length album Turbulence from the Deep being their debut with this excellent death metal label.
Ever since gaining recognition from the underground, Humiliation has been touted as the Bolt Thrower of Asia, and as soon as the first riffs of No Return hit the listener, it is rather easy to tell why. The entire sound of Humiliation is crushing as fuck, yet the band manages to maintain that slight groove that reminds one of the aforementioned Bolt Thrower, and the more mid-paced material of bands such as Jungle Rot or Obituary. The riffs of guitarist Asraf and Matt are grinding, with the steady palm-muted chugging helping to provide much of the heaviness, especially with the chunky tone that the band has managed to achieve, backed by the rumbling bass of Afe throughout the record to make for as heavy a strings section as possible. Drummer Mudon also punishes his kit mercilessly, adding to the impact that one feels in his ears, and for once, not utilising so much of the blasting that most death metal bands tend to utilise isn’t a complaint over here, with Mudon making up for that with his steady rhythmic sensibilities and the hard hits he unleash on the skins.
Unfortunately, for the most part, despite the crushing intensity and heaviness that is present on Turbulence from the Deep, the band plays the entire record in a rather mid or slow pace, and while this definitely left a strong first impression, as the record progressed, one’s patience also wears out along with it. There are even moments where one almost finds it somewhat difficult to differentiate one track from the next, with the songs starting to sound rather similar to each other towards the middle and end of the album.
While the band are obviously capable players of their style and genre, the similar sounding tracks that last for the entirety of the album end up being the biggest downfall of the album, with one quickly losing interest in the band’s material beyond the second track.