Live Review from Heavy #19
1. Sadistic wraith
2. Corrupt Dynasty
4. Unforeseen Rottenness
Little could have prepared the crowd for Human Betrayer’s vicious onslaught. The arrival of a mean-looking six-string bass and the addition of approximately 10 more cymbals to the drumkit spelled trouble. Ever the practice noodling sounded dangerous: bassist Wing Lam’s spidery fingers were a blur as they flickered across his fretboard. The speed of his playing throughout the set was consistently astounding and his rapidfire scales sounded almost jazz-inspired at times. He adopted a deep stance for first song, Sadistic Wraith, and began using a slapping technique to get the vilest, dankest sound from his strings. Frontman Randy Leung’s voice was a chaotic gale of retching and growls; in one moment feral and animalistic, the next sounding like two heavy boulders were being ground together. He let out a classic deathcore “BREEEEEE!” before unleashing a series of twisted screams to a steady, almost doom metal tempo.
Guitarist Michael Kwan’s axe was so loud and clear in the mix that he barely had to tickle his strings for them to fry with a deathly low, fearsomely distorted crunch. Corrupt Dynasty was ridiculously heavy – almost grindcore – featuring a shredding solo from Kwan, sinister cymbal crashes and grunting vocals. Omega conjured a stampede like rumble, practically shaking the venue’s foundations and causing the guitars hanging on the wall to tremble in the tumult. The nasty-sounding, visceral track bounced low riffs off extended shrill screams. In fact, the tornado of sound built to such an intensity that Leung was almost drowned out at times. Fans of melodic deathcore will have picked out similarities to groups like Aversions Crown, Abiotic and Rings of Saturn in the duality of the vocals, shifting tempos and floor-trembling rhythms embellished with guitar speedwork.
Final song Unforeseen Rottenness was truly rotten to the core. A soft melodic section lulled everyone into a state of calm until Takashi Shing crashed in with heavy, mid tempo drums alongside Leung’s goblin-like screeching, more berserk basslines and some truly evil black metal riffing. Executed with precision and force, Human Betrayer’s set was a spectacle to behold. Four intricate and masterful songs left an awestruck crowd wondering where their jaws (and eardrums) had disappeared to.
– El Jay