Humanise/Tales is the double EP from Japanese tech metallers Cyclamen and although it’s good, it does have its flaws.
The punchier and more hard-hitting release of the two, Humanise takes no prisoners with its energetic instrumental lines and features plenty of frenetic drum lines, gloriously techy guitar lines and a rumbling thundery bass line holding it all together – but there’s just one problem, which is the vocals.
The clean vocals sound a little strained at times, struggling to quite stick to the tune, and the harsh vocals are weak and unsubstantial, so it does make for a difficult listen as a result – they just don’t quite fit with the music and gives things a quite jerky flow. It’s a shame because musically, Humanise is a top-notch EP, but the vocals really do let it down.
Where Humanise was more vocal-driven, the instrumentation in Tales takes more of a central role and whilst the vocals still do leave a little to be desired, as a whole this EP flows a lot better than the latter. It’s just bigger and sounds pretty damn epic, filled with passion and a fantastic ethereal atmosphere in parts.
Middle track Precious has this lush and beautiful tone to the music, injecting the piece with stunning soaring melodies and atmosphere, and it just sounds so soft and gentle. The vocals are gentle and more restrained, which works better with the music, and closing track Departure flips the piece on its head, opening with almost-brutally-heavy music before being juxtaposed with some great female vocals.
Humanise/Tales is a good release that is filled with potential – but right now, Cyclamen haven’t quite reached their full potential. However I for one look forward to future releases with interest.