“Post-Human” is a wonderfully constructed experience, by Portuguese progressive metal band, Sullen. It’s very ambitious and encompasses a wide array of influences that gel together incredibly well, despite the dynamic difference between many songs.
After ‘Devata’ and ‘Broken Path’ it’s clear the range that this album will go through. Heavy riffing like Dream Theater to softer tones like Lunatic Soul, but dashes of even heavier metal, akin to Opeth. This is definitely progressive metal but should not be limited by that label alone. A song like ‘Ascend’ is enough to display that, in that whilst there’s not a lot obviously going on, there’s thought and emotion buried deep within these subtle tones. ‘The Mounder’ explores the amalgamation of all the influences in a tighter fashion to that of the start of the album.
Despite it’s length there’s plenty of balance to keep the album flowing; it’s intelligent without being too self-indulgent, a pleasure to see in modern progressive music. There tends to be three ‘acts’: the first third of the album seems to be an experimentation of the influences and, especially ‘Redondo Vocábulo’, finds songs at either end of the influence spectrum; second third adds in heavier elements, the Middle-Eastern tinges of ‘Become’ and the aggressive djent styling of ‘Exult’, characterise the darker sides of “Post-Human”; the final third contains more ambiance, but doesn’t overly sacrifice the epic chord sweeps, it does add in great, simple, guitar solos however, see ‘Place of Time’.
To summarise, it’s basically great, smart, clever, and emotional. Not a “look what we can do” album but instead takes you along for the ride. Like many of the great modern progressive rock acts of this day and age, Steven Wilson, Lunatic Soul, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Sullen know what strings to pull and when. Wonderfully constructed and fantastically gratifying.