Germany's Debauchery formed back in 2000, and since then has been making more waves overseas than they have here in North America. Over the years, the band unleashed eight full-length efforts, all of which have been met with a myriad of mixed reactions. Earlier releases had largely been warmly embraced, while recent material like 2009's Rockers & War saw great disapproval, finding long time fans slowly turning against the once great powerhouse. In response, we are given their ninth full-length venture, Fuck Humanity, a recording expressed by the band as a response to those individuals by declaring "Debauchery has always been something unique. Some people missed the point, that’s why they can fuck off!" But does the newly revamped line-up of Mr. Kill on guitar, Mr. Debauchery for guitar and vocals (presumably founding member Thomas Gurrath), Mr. Death on drums, and Mr. Blood on bass, cement their claim as one of Germany's premiere death metal acts, or is this another unfortunate step backwards?

Before we discuss Fuck Humanity, let's clear a few things up right away as best I can. The conceptual aspect lies in the lyrics, and is based around the World of Blood Gods, something I'm not all that familiar with. According to the accompanying press release, this is the "background world" for the band, based around the "monsters and dragon beasts [...] and warriors of Warhammer 40k". I've never read or played this series in the past in any of its iterations, so this review will not comment on the lyrical connections it shares with that world, but will examine it as something disconnected from that universe. This review will also only focus on the main disc of the release. Massacre Records is also offering a three disc digipack that features a "Blood God" versions of some new songs on the second, covers on the third, and some other goodies including what looks like an art book, a poster, and even a tote bag.

As for the music of Fuck Humanity, the album blurs a few different worlds together nicely. There's a subtle hardcore presence in many of the tracks that give off a heavy groove presence along the lines of early Six Feet Under crossed with a gritty Gwar atmosphere had the band's sarcastic nature been more spiteful. Indeed the atmosphere of the music itself nicely suits the overall theme of the album, even the moments when they end up creating an Amon Amarth-esque melodic death metal approach from time to time. The guitars sound thick and heavy, the bass adds some extra bulk to the mix, the drums are fantastic with a tight click on the kicks and no washout to be found, and the growling vocals work quite well most of the time throughout both musical interpretations mentioned.

Of course, you wouldn't guess much of this with how Fuck Humanity starts off. "My Religion is Hate" is actually more of a glorious sounding piece of heavy metal infused guitar work similar to many an Arch Enemy instrumental anthem. This brief start acts like a declaration of war, setting that very theme up quite well for an album that gets progressively dirtier, as if wallowing deeper in the trenches the further you go. "Ironclad Declation of War" keeps the battle hardened theme alive with an infectious groove filled track with some impressive gutturals, mixing in some of those epic elements from the previous track for the chorus that includes some clean singing, coincidentally coming off along the lines of Ministry without the industrial aspects. Either way, both elements work together to throw the band's weight around, as if assuring an imminent victory in the approaching war.

Most of this also goes for "German Warmachine", though someone's inner Chris Barnes seems to come through a bit more (which is far from a bad thing, really). This slower piece trudges forward like a tank, ploughing through with great aggression and a dirtiness that comes off like a death metal version of a war-themed Exodus track. Meanwhile, the steady bass chugs present a lack of care or concern from anything but the mission at hand that is being expressed through the lyrics. But then there's "King of the Killing Zone", which carries a bit of a sludgier Pantera sensation to go along with the Six Feet Under-esque material. The southern attitude is present within the respect filled war terrain that seems to erupt straight out of the swamp.

There's also the few melodic tracks scattered about, all of which carry less authority for the sake of warfare and battlefields. "Kneel Before the Dragon Gods" hits you with plenty of hooks akin to Twilight of the Thunder God by Amon Amarth, right down to the glorious, though somewhat out of place, chorus that commands you to do as the song title dictates with an additional harsher harmonization that sounds off, but seems to act as the voice of a recurring character within the album's concept. This is one of the aspects that hints towards a Gwar influence, as they appear again approaching four minutes in to push a little narration into the performance, feeling like something you'd hear the late Dave Brockie belt out on or around the Bloody Pit of Horror album. Sadly, this voice sounds incredibly cheesy at the start of "Fuck Humanity" as it talks about killing someone's family before an Illdisposed heavy, bass kick driven piece bursts in beyond the introductory chanting on the song's title.

Fuck Humanity has a number of references you can make as far as the musical directions the band heads in throughout to get the story across, and it all works quite well to make you feel the varying degrees of warfare in this world of fantasy and bloodshed. Even for someone not quite versed in the Warhammer 40k lore, it still provides enough of a backdrop that you can follow along and get the point of all the events that occur throughout the album. Musically, this is easily one of Debauchery's strongest releases, even without the bonus material the limited edition three disc version contains. If you want a down and dirty piece of war-themed aggression that will have you bobbing your head along repeatedly, Fuck Humanity is something well worth checking out.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.