Founded by former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader and vocalist Lauren Hart, it’s fair to say that on paper, LA modern groove metal wrecking crew Once Human is a formidable prospect. Having still to get the recognition they deserve despite two solid albums, the band is back with Scar Weaver, their follow-up to 2017’s Evolution, and, as the quintet hurtle into “Eidolon,” it seems that the last two years have been well spent fine-tuning their sound.
A crushing opener that sets the mood for Scar Weaver, “Eidolon” is packed with jarring modern metal grooves and jackhammer drums all leading towards the song’s chaotic conclusion. Having regrouped during lockdown, the newfound creative fire burning inside guitarist Max Karon along with the wealth of experience in Mader has helped push Once Human to something close to what you would expect. Like a concrete block to the face, the likes of “Scar Weaver” and the savage “Where The Bones Lie” sound like a right royal tear-up between Strapping Young Lad and Machine Head.
Under the guidance of Mader, the biggest growth on Scar Weaver comes by way of vocalist Lauren Hart. Right from “Eidolon,” Hart delivers the kind of performance that working alongside someone of Logan Mader’s standing demands. Whether it be her foundation-shaking melodeath screams or her pristine cleans or a combination of the two as seen on tracks like “Erasure,” Hart has quite simply come into her own on this record. The fact that on “Deadlock,” Hart teams up with Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn and manages to stay neck and neck with the metal heavyweight right through to the finish line, should give you some idea as to what to expect and you won’t be disappointed.
Reflecting on the chaos that surrounds us, Scar Weaver is a dark album both lyrically and musically. However, an album like this with tracks like “Only In Death” could not sound any other way. Having had two years to work on this album, Once Human marks their return with a fire in their bellies and an album that finally showcases the promise that this group can offer the modern metal scene.
Scar Weaver Track Listing:
3. Scar Weaver
4. Bottom Feeder
5. Where The Bones Lie
8. We Ride
9. Cold Arrival
10. Only In Death
Run Time: 40:56
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Record Label: earMUSIC