Shards of Humanity’s “Cold Logic,” the title track from their forthcoming album, out April 13 via Unspeakable Axe Records, is the best of the best when it comes to raw, aggressive death metal.

“Our sophomore LP Cold Logic presents a more refined vision than its predecessor, offering an overall tighter performance while maintaining the necessary raw edges of aggression,” Todd Cochran says. “Anticipate some quick changes of pace and mind-bending surprises fixated on warping and expanding your mind outward.”

MeThe band’s second album is an evolved yet unpretentious display of death metal with the with understated intricacy and the straight-ahead barbarity of thrash in its heart.

Shards of Humanity swam against the tide with the 2014 release of their debut, Fractured Frequencies. That album was a Death-inspired blast of thrashy riffs, blazing tempos, and glass-gargling vocals. Instead of leaning into early, primitive Death, as many bands did, Shards of Humanity looked to the middle period of the band for influence, hammering strands of Human and Symbolic into new, warped shapes.

Cold Logic sees the band pushing every dimension harder than ever. Vocals are hoarse howls of torment; guitars are bigger and bolder, but without the raw edges sanded off. With Pestilence-like thrash riffing and even an Atheist-reminiscent, free-jazz freakout, this is an album not at all interested in pretending to be primitive, yet still very much connected to the genre’s beating, blood-drenched heart.

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Addison is reviews and online news editor for New Noise. She specializes in metal, queer issues, and dog cuddles.

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