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The Human Race is Filth – Cognitive Dissonance Award winner

The Human Race is Filth
Cognitive Dissonance
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 30 January 2023, 5:22 PM

As anyone who knows me will tell you, my adoration and appreciation of all things “filth” is God-tier level hero-worship, as is my disdain and general dislike for the scum-chugging human race. Both are two components of my very existence in equal measure, so imagine how my empty eyes lit up when I saw Pennsylvanians THE HUMAN RACE IS FILTH grace my desk, and my especial excitement at the discovery that the band has dedicated an entire release – the fourth EP, “Cognitive Dissonance” - to how humanity’s very existence is, well… fucked. Better still, these guys brandish their (mostly) contemptuous attitude towards humans (*vomits*) in a scathingly seething Molotov-fuelled concoction of death grind, a smattering of crust, and a pinch of doom just to ensure they home in on their sneering scorn with as much audial abrasion as possible on their rightly supercilious musings.

This isn’t a record of vitriol, and neither is it always about existential detest. There are some ‘tender’ moments in that “Cognitive Dissonance” concerns itself with the grapples of mental health and personal struggle – topics that are wholly relatable especially in these post-pandemic times - but equally delivers some hard-hitting, contemporary observations about socioeconomic injustice and privilege. Be assured that, as with all heartfelt and impassioned releases, profoundly rousing lyrical content and vociferous vocal deliver is the beating heart of this fine record.  Additionally - for purposes of clarity for the audial snobs amongst you - whilst there’s nine-tracks, this is most definitely an EP as it comes in just shy of twenty-four minutes.

“Cognitive Dissonance” starts with the short but impactful “Life of Tyrants”, a rousing catharsis of noise that begins with the innocent tones of a child sweetly speaking “The human race is filth”, merging into a tribal drumbeat of warfare and spewed vocals. The brutality is ramped right up in the rebuked grind-fest of “Apes with Christ” which hammers its admonishment in furious tempos devoid of warmth and deliberately aloof, morphing into the incendiary deliciously bass-heavy beast “Electronic Caterpillar”, which beckons moments of death-doom. At this point, there’s a potent mix of INSECT WARFARE and VOMITORY influence to my ears, which naturally leads to similarities of the style of personal underground death grind favourites of mine, FOETAL JUICE. THE HUMAN RACE IS FILTH perfect that inclusion of vocal brutality that’s slathered in hate, spit, and napalm, and bring the nasty instrumentals bubbling to the surface like a rancid fart in a jacuzzi. Take “Bastardized”, injected with intermittent melodic riffs and then punishingly stuffed like fois gras with as much powerful instrumental grimness as is humanly possible, culminating in a brewing, slow chugger that is still as incendiary as its faster counterparts on “Cognitive Dissonance”.

Mid-way through the EP, we reach “Cloaked in Shame” another burly, brawny stomper that is sure to fuel the pit with more aggression than a bull on roids, with the equally uncompromising grind tones of “Hopes Wavered” in a short, sharp shock of searing rage and an all-out pissed off view of life. Again, the weight of the world is on the shoulders of the elephantine vocals that accompany this release, with “Propagating Technology” offering a slightly more hardcore feeling approach, complete with momentary d-beat for a crustier execution, and “Vomiting Strings of Human Decay” brings a marginally more OSDM delivery with a hint of d-beat plunged into the background for good measure. Finally, to bookend this especially filthy offering, “Tribal Injections of Division” glowers with plenty of downtuned nastiness in a sludgy ooze of caustic deprecation that pumps its contempt like a spraying Uzi of scorn.

I sincerely loved every minute of listening to “Cognitive Dissonance”, although if there’s one observation I’d make, the mix on the drums isn’t always high enough for my liking, and I felt that they sounded a little more concealed than they should in places. Otherwise, THE HUMAN RACE IS FILTH has nailed the production, and it’s as filthy as it should be for such a visceral and devastating record, resulting in a punishing and castigating release, that’s jam-packed with the nuclear levels of aggression you’d expect pertaining to such a subjective thematic, and it’s bloody good.

If mankind were to be wiped out, “Cognitive Dissonance” would be the perfect middle-fingered apocalyptic theme tune to accompany it. Top quality FILTH!

NB: I’ve been a little quick off the mark reviewing this one (I couldn’t resist), so there are no YouTube videos available for this album. However, a video for “Cloaked in Shame” will be available to view on the band’s YouTube channel next week!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Life of Tyrants
2. Apes with Christ
3. Electronic Caterpillar
4. Bastardized
5. Cloaked in Shame
6. Hopes Wavered
7. Propagating Technology
8. Vomiting Strings of Human Decay
9. Tribal Injections of Division
Kasey Harrison – Vocals, Bass
Paul Folk – Guitars
Brett Rebman – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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