Technical death metal/metalcore is a type of music that I have a love/hate relationship with. Though I can't stand many of the genre leaders, there are plenty of unknown obscurities that I find myself enjoying tremendously. Although The Last Felony's Too Many Humans didn't completely blow me away, it's certainly closer to the latter option than the former. What we have here is a very solid extreme metal album with impeccable musicianship, memorable compositions, and unforgiving complexity. From a sheer technical standpoint, criticizing The Last Felony would be wrong on so many levels - these guys are tight-playing, relentless behemoths who play everything perfectly... maybe too perfectly. Don't get me wrong; I really enjoy this album. Unfortunately, I can't shake the feeling that this album is just too perfect - almost to a point where the riffing feels generic and the music uninspired. If The Last Felony could eliminate that outer level of polish, I could see Too Many Humans being a technical death metal/metalcore album for the ages. As the current product stands, what we have is an enjoyable album marred by a crippling production and a "generic" feeling throughout.
Although The Last Felony is (rightfully) labeled as technical death metal/metalcore, the metalcore tendencies take a backseat on most of the album. For the most part, expect technical death metal in the vein of Suffocation and with some nods towards Morbid Angel or Deicide. While the aforementioned description sounds like something I'd be really into, the music is far too sterile and polished for my tastes. The production, although powerful and commanding, is on the verge of an over-produced nightmare. If the production took a more bare-bones and raw approach, I could see myself instantly enjoying this album much more. The music itself is fairly impressive, but the excellent musicianship takes the cake. These guys are an extremely talented bunch, and I have the deepest respect for them. The vocals from Joss Fredette are a bit monotonous, though, and that also drags down my enjoyment a bit. There's simply not enough vocal variation here and his growl tones are fairly standard - I'd recommend eating a box of nails before each rehearsal to fix that problem. It's clear he's talented (on tracks like "Most Unclean"), but most of his vocal work just doesn't cut it for me.
Too Many Humans had the potential to really win me over, but a few potent flaws marred my overall experience. The weak production, generic riffs, and mediocre vocals really demolished my enjoyment, which is quite a shame. The Last Felony is a talented group with a solid sound, but Too Many Humans is ultimately more promising than impressive. I've enjoyed listening to the album over the last week, though, and I sense a killer follow-up if The Last Felony can take a more stripped-down approach. As far as Too Many Humans stands, it's an enjoyable album with its fair share of flaws, though still warmly recommended to technical death metal fans. 3 stars are deserved in this case.