SUBHUMAN, Delirio No. 1  (2005, demo)

The skull:
You can’t really lose copping an H.R. Giger painting for your album cover. From ELP to Celtic Frost, bands have made good use of it. I even remember Argentinian band Vibrion snagging a detail from an H.R. Giger cover and making it their own. And there are many others. So, of course this cover is amazing. A grinning, or more likely mouth-raped skull is having something forced into its maw, a gun or something phallic, or something approximating either. Fun for the viewer to decipher and interpret! The skull sits amongst a typically Giger-esque world of bluish gray, in what looks like a gargantuan wall of syringes and machinery, largely symmetrical and absolutely mammoth in scope.

The music:
On the surface, this band should be amazing. An H.R. Giger cover, the good taste to Subhuman-ize Faith No More’s excellent “Surprise! You’re Dead!!!,” and the Coroner-ish first minutes of “Il Vecchio Bastardo.” But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that most of the rest of the music does not live up to the cover. While this demo has its moments, it loses itself chasing its tail in a bland near-Meshuggah sort of chunka-chunka death/thrash uber-aggro throwdown. There’s something inspired boiling under the surface, and there are some great guitar leads here, but otherwise it’s probably a good thing it’s a demo, because it sounds and acts like one. Maybe the two albums they have released since capitalize on whatever potential is here? Go check it out and get back to me on that, okay?
— Friar Wagner