Album Reviews - Reviews

Explosive Decoy Humans – Transient


Transient is the first EP from unashamedly nerdy tech-metallers Explosive Decoy Humans, dispersed across three continents yet unencumbered by the oceanic expanses. Featuring members of Cyclamen, Subterranean Fishermen, and Dead on Both Shoulders, the qualifications of EDH are without question, and Transient arrives not a moment too soon for this creative contingent.

The sonorous, sometimes somnolent croonings of vocalist Lindsay Templeton evoke Orchid-era Mikael Akerfeldt amidst a whirlwind of seething meters. A field recording of a lagoon punctuates the opener’s onslaught, grounding it in an evocative, intimate serenity. True to its name, ‘Chaos’ flits and flutters, its flight enigmatically sating the attention, never quite returning, although often imperceptibly close. Lorenz would be unsurprised. The clean bits of ‘Lost Within the Great Timescape’ create a space undefined and understated. In these moments of breathing, the harmonic sensibilities of wee lads Tristan Zemsteff and Johann von Dagg shine through.

The title track meanders a bit but eventually finds its groove, blending lilt, bop, and banging of the head. Drummer Aled Lloyd is on top form, with 32nd note runs that push the wildest moments over the top. His consistency is remarkable, but unsurprising for someone associated with Cyclamen, whose world-renowned florid flourishes charm and confound. The ingredients for a dramatic conclusion are all present, a slow growth from a quiet guitar duet, adding drums and a dark, ambient conversation before a second, startlingly melodic solo. Perhaps some mashed banana or silken tofu would have bound these things more cleanly? Each constituent on its own is unimpeachable, but it seems to peak a bit too quickly at times. This may be largely by design, and the level of nuance for a tech-metal album is remarkable, but one wonders how someone with slower proclivities might have constructed this crescendo.

Undoubtedly, Transient is a solid first effort, and as the band matures, the neoteric will transcend the naïve. The best is yet to come from these jocular jetsetters. Out 25 August on Bandcamp and elsewhere, affiliate yourself with this before it dissipates. (Actually, it probably won’t do that.) David Yates