"Within Here Lies Pain" By The Human Tragedy (Kentucky, USA)/Symphonic Death Metal/Released Feb 2017
The musical genre of heavy metal has often been called a modern equivalent to classical music with both styles often sharing a focus on technical proficiency, epic themes, and songs that progress in complex arrangements. As such, the hybridization of orchestral instruments with distorted guitars was a natural fit for many metal artists and made famous by bands such as Epica, Nightwish, and Within Temptation. While European bands have been the deepest well for symphonic metal, the style has also influenced American musicians with many looking to expand on the textures of heavy metal.
Kentucky metal band The Human Tragedy formed in June of 2014. Their first release was the 2014 EP Echoes From The Hall which featured current Creature Of Exile front man Johnny Martin on vocals. After adding the milestone of opening for Sepultura to their history the band released their first full length album Within Here Lies Pain in February of 2017.
Within Here Lies Pain is a nine track affair that runs just shy of 50 minutes which is fitting for the ambitious song structures The Human Tragedy goes for. The band combines uptempo and aggressive instrumentation fitting for melodic death metal with haunting orchestral arrangements giving every track a dark yet epic feel. Driving, direct guitar work is machined forward with tasteful, groove centered percussion. The restrained guitar and drum work provides plenty of room for the song’s symphonic elements that lead the way in every track. Unlike other symphonic metal bands like Epica and Nightwish, The Human Tragedy employs exclusively growled male vocals putting them more in line with artists such as Children Of Bodom and Septicflesh.
Opening track “Leech” is one of the most balanced tracks of the album and puts more emphasis on traditional metal instrumentation with orchestral strings acting more as icing on the cake than the focal point of the song. The following track “Losing Grip” ups the aggression and is one of the fastest songs featuring tremolo picked guitar work and distinct piano lines. “Digitally Dying” features rare electronic elements and metalcore inspired guitar work complete with a breakdown and a big chorus that’s sure to make the song a fan favorite. “Bound” is the personal favorite of the album and displays the band’s talent for song arrangement. A highly dynamic track with constant tempo switches, melodic segments, blast beats, guitar solos, and more all contained in just over six minutes.
Within Here Lies Pain is a solid full length debut from The Human Tragedy. A record that holds all the aggression and traditional elements a metal fan could want with the added flavor of accessible orchestral arrangements to take their compositions to the next level and set the band apart from other “meat and potatoes” extreme metal acts. While Scandinavia may still be the Mecca for symphonic metal, The Human Tragedy proves the style can bear fruit in the states as well.