Having only been a band for the better part of a year and a half, …
Dissipate opens Wheel’s second album on clean guitar lines and progresses through the addition of warmer tones, gradually becoming darker and heavier as layers of sound are added, building toward a towering crescendo and long before the end of its twelve minute expanse this Finnish act has established itself as something remarkable.
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Album centrepiece Hyperion delivers dark hypnotic riffing over polyrhythmic drumming and syncopated grooves in the Tool mould as it scales heights of epic brilliance of interwoven guitars, lofty vocals and thundering beats.
That’s a vibe that returns in the equally majestic title track as the dark stuttering riffs and urgent drumming climbs another apex, James Lascelles’ vocals echoing the higher register of Maynard Keenan. But Resident Human is a far more engaging and interesting album than Tool’s last endlessly meandering effort, never losing its sense of focus among the mesmerising rhythmic drive, pulsing bass, soaring vocals and serpentine compositions.
Expansive, immersive, reflective and cerebral, Resident Human should stand as a landmark for modern progressive metal, a thought-provoking and cohesive masterpiece from a band who could soon be giants of their art.
Wheel don’t just reserve their magic for the longer tracks either: Ascendence and Movement reach out with enveloping layers beneath the throbbing grooves and crushing riffs while the understated Fugue with its funky bass line and whispery vocals acts as a bridge between two of the album’s longer cuts. That Wheel can bring the same level of intrigue and grandiosity to their shorter tracks as they do with the saga-length ones is further definition of their skill as musicians, songwriters and storytellers. Expansive, immersive, reflective and cerebral, Resident Human should stand as a landmark for modern progressive metal, a thought-provoking and cohesive masterpiece from a band who could soon be giants of their art.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Dissipate, Hyperion, Resident Human
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Tool, Between the Buried and Me, Haken