1. Intrusion 2. Hostile Architecture I 3. Hostile Architecture II 4. Exigent Weight 5. No Cure 6. Adrenochrome2020 self-released
Don't let Canopy's logo or the artwork for their LP Humanity Loss deceive you; this Atlanta based band does not play Black Metal. Its jagged lettering and monochromatic nature photo suggest the bleakness of that genre, but the music leans in a sludgier direction. Sure, the songs on the album invoke an air of darkness to parallel its image, but it's more of a gritty struggle than a cold suffering. In fact, while still existing in the Sludge sub-genre, Canopy are even quite distant from pivotal bands like Eyehategod or Grief, employing a more cerebral song-writing approach that shares more with Post-Metal than anything else. Unlike many of their peers, Canopy's sound doesn't exist in despondent murkiness and suffering. No, this group is not wallowing in misery; they're clawing and scraping their way out of it. Humanity Loss crawls through down-tempo rhythms - both a strength and a weakness for the band. While the space it provides leaves plenty of room for the adept musicians to work, the lack of any real tempo shifts leaves the forty-eight minute runtime a bit redundant when taken in full. But consumed in chunks, Canopy's take on Sludge is certainly an admirable one. There's plenty of stonery grooves and creative guitar playing, a blend of harshness and melodicism that drives the underlying atmosphere to Humanity Loss. "Hostile Architecture I” makes use of lofty, off-balance riffs, bringing to mind early Intronaut, while "No Cure” slides into a doomy din of feedback. The raw, throaty, screamed vocals contribute to the aura of panic and terror, but take a back seat to the music. Long instrumental sections weave their way through the mayhem, even dropping out into clean passages such as the Isis-inspired spacey bridge of "Exigent Weight.” "Adrenochrome,” the album's finishing track, provides some of the best of what Canopy can do. The song builds from a simple arpeggiated clean guitar chord, to the album's most tormented, Doom-influenced section. A low growl accompanies the screams as the track teeters on the edge of collapse. This isn't the soundtrack to the fall of humanity, this is the sound of the rebellion that follows. Bottom line: Atlanta's Canopy have released a really good sludge album that does well to defy typical genre trends. It certainly isn't without its faults, but Humanity Loss is a great outing.