The Human Equation starts with the sound of acoustic guitars. But the tenderness doesn't last long: Harsh vocals and deafening guitars soon bust into the album's opening song, "Heaven's Assault." Good luck figuring out the lyrics on Solipsist's debut full-length. Frontman Noah Buchanan roars more than he sings, sounding like a wounded demon as the band turns downright menacing on songs like "The Catharsis of Man" and "Eternal Drought." And they get brutally epic on The Human Equation's centerpiece, "Queen of Abandonment." There's a bluesy swagger to "Heretic," and "New Form" is a pretty acoustic ballad, but this isn't an album for the faint of heart. It's an exercise in vicious force. — Jeff Niesel
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