PICK OF THE WEEK: Turian explode with captivating, diverse attack on mind fuck ‘No Longer Human’

Photo by Kyle Burnett

Sticking with a formula that works for you never is a bad idea, because why disrupt that which isn’t broken? Or so the saying kind of goes. But that doesn’t always apply, even when the mixture of elements is powerful and moving, because if it doesn’t do anything for the creator, the final product will not have the intended impact and eventually will lose power.

Seattle crushers Turian have been at it for several years now, making mostly grindcore-style noise that certainly was impactful, but obviously the band felt like they needed something else. Enter their amazing new full-length “No Longer Human,” a 10-track affair that’s still heavy musically but refuses to remain in any boundaries as they slather their music in noise, New Wave, metal, punk, and yes, even some grind. A game-changer was the inclusion of vocalist Veronica “Vern” Metztli to the original trio of guitarist Ryan Moon, bassist Cris Sanchez, and drummer Andrew Nyte, and combined, these four just explode with colors, passion, fury, and energy that cannot be contained just within this record and makes itself something that exists within you as you experience this absolute killer of an album.

“Slowdeath” tears the record open with punchy venom, harsh howls that make your bones hurt, and sludgy hell slurring all over. The vocals get nastier as the playing increases its danger, and then it’s on to “Snakehead” that explodes with thrashy rage. “Hatred for man, flesh melts away, all I see is wasteland, hair entwined with snakes,” Metztli wails, their wrath spilling over and melding with daring, striking playing that sinks into arteries. “Judas Tree” brings catchy rock riffs and a vibrant chorus that lives in your bloodstream. “Judas tree, go to sleep!” Metztli howls as the band chugs and stabs before slinking into atmospheric chill. “Malfunction” has guitars going off as nasty vocals scrape, and the charging, jolting playing loosens teeth. Metztli speaks fluidly, “Presented my arrival, my dreams were fed to me,” as the melodies loops back before a devastating finish. “Ten Misfortunes” has thick bass and Metztli switching to croaking slurred vocals, a dreamy pace swishing into sudden unsettling drama. A strange vibe arrives as feedback spits and echoes, and the vision ends abruptly.

“Willoughby” brings rubbery guitars and a zany pace, the vocals smashing into your comfort zone. “That train don’t stop here,” Metztli howls as a bizarre haze begins to rise, and then the guitars jolt your nervous system back into shape. “American Dog” has a catchier approach with a song teeming with anger, Metztli jabbing, “People are dying, and it’s never his fault,” something that is easy to understand and also sickens your belly, and later on the blast of “bred to kill” absolutely drips with disgust. “Buster Room” speeds in with spat-out vocals, the playing carving paths to punk-fueled extremes. The leads drive through the night, everything slinking off into calm. “Narcissus” bludgeons as the guitars dare, Metztli wailing, “It will not consume, it will only create.” The brutality simmers as spacey guitars launch, Metztli speaks and repeats the chorus, and the final moments take a neck-jerking turn. Closer “Saila Maaso” goes off and mashes with a hardcore vibe, the relentless energy getting inside your skeletal system. The pace draws blood as you’re shaken to your core, and the final moment is Metztli howling a restless “Fuck!”

“No Longer Human” is a massive step forward for Turian, and that’s not a negative comment on their back catalog at all, just a statement of how surprising and volcanic this record truly is. This is one of those albums and bands where you can’t accurately transfix a description, because they defy all sub-genre marks and seemingly exist in every single one of them. This record is packed with rage, power, and energy, and every repeat visit you make uncovers devious new wrinkles you never noticed before.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/turianband/

To buy the album, go here: https://turian.bandcamp.com/album/no-longer-human

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/wisebloodrecs