As I've raved countless times on Two Guys Metal Reviews, I, Voidhanger is the place to go for smart avant garde black metal. Their latest offering, Opening Of The Eye By The Death Of I from Lowell, Massachusetts freaks In Human Form is one of the most intense listens I've been exposed to in recent months. A record that hints at prog metal and jazz and then in the same breath falls into Immortal-esque madness Opening Of The Eye By The Death Of I encapsulates all that I have grown to love about the cutting edge of the genre.
Cool as this record is though, I feel like In Human Form are occasionally too ambitious. While on the one hand I can't help but to be fascinated by the jazzy remonstrances of a track like All Is Occulted By Swathes Of Ego the record sometimes feels a bit too on the nose to get truly lost in. At the same time, that ambition is part of what makes Opening Of The Eye By The Death Of I so interesting. It is a record that pushes boundaries with every passing bar and refuses to conform to black metal stereotypes. It forces you to really think about the nature of the genre and is strangely charming as a result.
There is something endlessly appealing to me about incredibly over the top and dorky black metal that is at least somewhat self aware. In Human Form are clearly insanely talented musicians with a singular vision that you simply can't hate. It's rare to find a band who are this fully realized especially when their music is as insane as theirs. While they certainly could continue to refine and tighten their approach it's hard not to smile as you dig into the record and realizes that perhaps it could even be described as 'eye opening'!
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