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Non-Human Level is a side project conceived by members of Darkane, Meshuggah, and the Devin Townsend Band. The band wanted to capture the dominating, riff orgy of death/thrash metal, with the complex subtleties of neo-thrash metal. They wanted to create a crushing album, filled with memorable riffs, and thriving melodies. Thusly, they succeeded on many levels.
Riffs. Riffs. Riffs. The theme of this album is to ram guitar riffs down your throat with speed and ferocity, until you find yourself gasping for air. Christopher Malmstrom's guitar playing is as solid as it has ever been with Darkane, and he proves this with the passing of each song. The riffs are fast, complex, heavy, and give you all you could ask for and more from a thrash metal band. The leads work great with the songs, ranging from the melodic, to the blazing, and none of them fail to impress. The bass seems to follow along with the guitar patterns successfully, adding a bit of groove to the songs, in the mix of the blazing guitars.
The drumming is superb, as Ryan Van Poederooyen shoes his diversity with blasting double bass, and mid-tempo drum fills. The rhythm section remains aggressive through the whole album, and the drumming holds it all together, never falling out of time.
Vocalist Peter Wildoer, who is actually the drummer for Darkane, grunts and screams maliciously. The vocals range from the high-pitched screams found in bands like Darkane, and The Crown, to the occasional low grunted growl.
To sum up the self-titled debut of this death/thrash metal "supergroup", it is excellent. It is relentless, aggressive, and powerful. Non-Human Level has not been bogged down by the "supergroup" persona, in fact, the instrumentation is done quite harmoniously, and is the focal point of the album. Everything works, and this album will leave you coming back for more.