Reviewed: September 2022
Released: 2022, self-released
Reviewer: Kira Levine
Blending catchy riffs and melodic singing with aggressive djent metal and progressive rock, Almost Human is the debut full-length from Skeptic Lens. The quartet are based in Akron, Ohio.
After a surreal intro track, “Convergent Minds” premieres Eric’s varied vocals over djenty rhythms. There are many suspenseful moments already at this early point in the record, and a solo delivered by Tom on guitars steals the limelight from the other parts of the dramatic song. The enunciation of words like ‘convergent’ also make the listening experience all the more interesting.
The melodic and screamed vocals on “Ego Death” are delivered simultaneously have a stronger impact on this slower number. It is here at the halfway point of the album, on the longest track, that all the different elements mesh together the best. The opposing vocals and progressive time signatures are delivered in a manner that makes them seem like a natural fit.
Initially quite upbeat, “Sleep Opus 1” transitions into a calmer number which leads nicely into the dreamlike second part. Tracks 6 and 7 do refer back to “One On One” in the lyrics, which also mentions dreams.
“Lusting Darkness” follows the sleep opuses, with some fantastic bass work from Kevin. Its overall tempo provides a feeling of exhilaration, while still utilising the irregular time signatures heard earlier in the album.
The rhythm section definitely steal the show on the last portion of Almost Human, as “Not a Word” exhibits fierce drumming delivered by Eric H. that matches the aggression of the unclean vocals.
A very emotional performance from Skeptic Lens that prog metal fans should not miss. Almost Human is out now.