EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Human Error – Upon a Throne of Greed [EP/2017]

Artist: Human Error

Album: Upon a Throne of Greed – EP


What do you think a monument to mankind would truly look like? Would it be enormous? I mean—how could it not be? It would dwarf even the most mammoth skyscrapers, blocking out the sun and casting all of creation in a shadow of its grandiosity. It’s size is no question—it would have to live up to the impact our species has had on this planet. Would it be made of precious metals? Gold, platinum, silver—things even more valuable that shine even brighter? Maybe it would be made of diamond, rubies, emeralds…the list goes on. What do you think it would look like?

Before you answer that question, let Human Error tell you what they think it would look like: It would be a testament to the true atrocity of mankind’s selfishness, hatred, bigotry and brutality. Yes, it would grow tall enough to block out the sun, but only to mirror the mass destruction we’ve inflicted on Earth and on each other. And it would be made of a material more precious than gold, coins, diamonds or dollar bills—it would be crafted from flesh and bone. It would be a bastardization of the human spirit. It would be the gruesome atrocity that is Upon a Throne of Greed, the band’s breakout EP. Take three parts slamming death metal, two parts ruthless, groovy deathcore and one part straight up, thrashy, riffy death metal, and what do you get? You get the minds behind legendary hyperspeed hellions Vulvodynia and Acrania doing exactly what they do best.


An amalgam of absurd speed, sinister and eerie technicality and more than enough heaviness to sink a battleship, Human Error wage war on the listener from the first spine-chilling seconds of “Societal Paralysis” all the way through the last seconds Upon a Throne of Greed has to offer the listener. Percussionist Jake Hadley finds himself at the heart of this horrendous behemoth of bone-busting brutality—and while he might not be as oppressively and inhumanly fast as some of today’s other slam-tinted heavy music offerings, he makes up for it with grooves and punchy, pummeling breakdowns that defy the standards set by “slamming deathcore.” Hadley’s work on “Intus Diabolus,” for example, is second-to-none, with more melodic and subtle portions that serve as smooth transitions between moments of blistering speed and neck-snapping aggression. Likewise, “Billions Made as Billions Die”—aside from featuring the legendary Dickie Allen (Infant Annihilator)—sees Hadley’s drumming dominating above all, working with bassist Dan Cooke to crush the listener between ten tons of putridity and punishing power. Cooke—while not truly audible throughout a great majority of Upon a Throne of Greed—adds depth and raunchy, grisly kick to every bass drum smack and beautifully contrasts every tight, explosive ping of Hadley’s snare. More importantly, on tracks like the solo-studded “Intus Diabolus” or “Billions Made as Billions Die,” Cooke serves as a foundation for guitarist Matt Mader, and guitarist/songwriter Luke Haarhoff. Haahoff and Mader are a match made in heaven—and while we see a different side of Haarhoff’s talents than are displayed on his other, more slammy projects, the listener will find themselves engrossed all the same. “Synthetic Euphoria” is one such example, where Mader and Haarhoff invade the listener’s ears and soak into their bloodstream like a drug—a drug that goes terribly, terribly awry when “Human Error” kicks in and the listener’s blood is turned to tar by the duo’s devastating aggression and bluntly traumatic brutality.

But when one thinks brutality—especially in the context of slam and things related to slam—one voice comes to mind: that of Luke Griffin, heavy music’s Bree-sus Christ. Peerless when it comes to speed, endurance, energy and distinct, simply put, gnarly talent, Griffin’s relative return to the spotlight on Human Error’s Upon a Throne of Greed is every bit as satisfying as one could possibly want. Songs like the devastating and spine-shrinkingly intense opening number see Griffin triumphantly reclaiming his throne as the titan of terrifying vocal styles. And to channel the ghost of the late, great Billy Mays: but wait, there’s more! Griffin isn’t alone on Upon a Throne of Greed; in fact, he brought some of heavy music’s other front-runners for insane talent with him. Been dying to hear a Luke Griffin-and-Dickie Allen collaboration? Wait no longer, because “Millions Made as Millions Die” give you just that? Or maybe you’ve heard of the relatively young-yet-stunning vocal phenomenon sweeping the heavy music underground known as none other but Ben Duerr (of Shadow of Intent)—well, to whet your appetite for Shadow of Intent’s sophomore full length release, he’s here too on the albums epic closer. Last—but not least—Aversions Crown and former I, Valiance frontman Mark Poida makes an appearance, as tremendous now as he ever was. If you aren’t getting it, Human Error’s breakout EP makes absolutely no error when it comes to taking slamming deathcore’s most renowned name and mixing it with some of heavy music’s other MVPs—making it an experience you don’t want to miss.


From start to finish, beginning to end, front to back, every second of Upon a Throne of Greed is grisly and brilliant; grotesque and brutal yet sprawling and beautiful all at once. Peerless heaviness, top-notch songwriting, and some of the best vocal talent 2017’s heavy music scene has to offer, Human Error are dangerously close to error-free, crafting a dazzling experience that will appeal to fans of everything from symphonic, blackened deathcore to slamming brutal death metal and contemporary deathcore all at once.



For Fans Of: Vulvodynia, Shadow of Intent, Infant Annihilator, Acrania, Ingested

By: Connor Welsh