Albums like Bonehunter‘s second full length, Sexual Panic Human Machine, stand to remind us all that amidst the cvltness and overall frontin’ that we have to endure across all platforms in life, metal can be wicked, wicked fun. Yea, I said it — fun. When you need that soundtrack to general stupidness or just something to help keep a saddened state at bay this kind of metalpunk/thrash is the perfect fit. Even if the album art is a bit…out there, I mean aliens hysterical over a bear dude’s schlong. But, it fits with the overall no f’s given attitude so why not?!
Bonehunter has been around since 2011 and have amassed quite an impressive back catalog of quick hitters in that time. Enough so that one would think their 2015 debut, Evil Triumphs Again, would have been an absolute knock out punch. While it was thrashing mad fun it had zero staying power and after a few listens it turned into more of a novelty and quite simply, fell by the way side. I’m a huge fan of the whole blackened thrash metal punk thing and really there’s nothing better for keeping a good mood peaked. But this landscape is crowded and if you’re going to make an impression you must do it quick and make it last. In a sidebar convo back then I described the debut like this “a bastard child of Motörhead and Venom that grew up unable to think on its own.” I stand by that two years removed.
After the — here we go again — completely useless intro, Sexual Panic Human Machine very quickly asserts itself as the album Bonehunter was meant to make from all along. I caught myself checking the lineup to make sure this was indeed the same band. Barring the previously mentioned intro and the fact that at least two of these tracks could’ve had minutes trimmed (looking straight at you “Enter the Satan’s Dimension,” you’re a great lead off track but you’re too long in the tooth with the repeated verses), this is a raucous, racy and damn catchy second effort.
Need a soundtrack to the apocalypse? The rollicking speed of “Substance Creator” could be a spiked, leather clad companion to your own version of a Mad Max film. How about a song for your next drag race? The mean bottom end and flashy guitar work in “Digital Evil” is your fuel induced track. Planning a fight soon? Time your knock out punches to the wickedly evil grooves in “Devil Science.” All this may sound ridiculous, and that’s fine, but one listen and I’m fairly sure at least one of you will come to the same conclusion.
On the music front Bonehunter has never sounded better. The guitar tone is nasty and brash, the vocals have a meaner rasp this time around and the drumming is nothing short of fantastic. Quite possibly the highlight of the whole album is the drums and particularly when compared to the band’s debut where they sounded like tin cans. Truthfully, the decision to push S.S. Penetrator’s deadly powerful precision up front this time around was a wise choice as the album and overall sound benefits greatly.
On Sexual Panic Human Machine, Bonehunter have thrust (pun intended) themselves into the limelight of the metalpunk/speed/thrash branch of metal. They’re still not quite top of the heap material yet but with this album they are definitely on the fast track to getting there. They threw caution to the wind and made one of the most devilishly fun albums I’ve heard thus far in the year and one that has an amazing amount of staying power — even more than bear dude’s schlong.