Unholy "Blood of the Medusa" CDPosted on Monday, May 21st, 2007 @ 8:39am » permalink
The impressive sophomore release from Lambgoat Records is the long-awaited debut full-length from Syracuse's own Unholy, and I don't think I need to outline their lineup's most awesome past exploits yet again, so… if you're unaware, search elsewhere on this site (or any number of others) and school yourself, eh? A much longer experience than the "Awaken the Sleep" EP, this outing obviously sees the band demonstrating a bit more diversity throughout (though some of those tracks appear here in re-recorded form) – much of which starts to rear its head right off the bat in the incredible instrumental opener "New Faith", which deals with quite a bit of layering and more of an atmospheric tinge to the feel of the riffs. There are some loosely Swedish-inspired runs to be found here and there, which was a little surprising at first, but passing through the Jonathan "Riff Machine" Dennison filter a lot of that stuff sort of comes across sounding more like "Heartwork" era Carcass anyway – with lots of slick little note bends and dense, palm-muted chugs – and you can't complain about that. Aside from a certain sense of hardcore-related energy that's present from time to time things are damn sure more metal than "metallic hardcore" these days as well – solos and all. There's just a sinister sort of aesthetic happening across the board, and the songwriting is more involved in terms of relying on more of the aforementioned layering techniques and Dennison's creatively melodic chord phrasings as opposed to anything too straightforward.
The first time I listened to this bad boy in the car I kind of felt like the recording or the mix was a little weird because the vocals felt a little dry and/or slightly up front, but my car's sort of a piece of shit, and everything sounds much better in headphones, so… go figure. The guitars definitely run the show and sound fuckin' great – super crisp and tight with just the right amount of subtly gritty texture, so they're aptly crunchy without going at all over the top. There's just enough of a bass presence to make its mark, too (I'd still like to hear a hint more, though!). I'd probably like to hear something about the vocals tweaked, but I really can't put my finger on it, and as long as those guitars are bustin' out the jams like this, I'm alright. The tracklist is divided into three segments within the booklet – "Dirt", "Decay", and "Demise" – the lyrics to each of which are prefaced by brief "stories" that expand upon the contents of the material and lend a more narrative touch:
The new earth is now decaying, the human species has now overpopulated itself, like maggots hatching from a rotting corpse. Every inch of the planet is scarred by buildings and highways. Beggars of life try to fight against powers they cannot grasp, hope fades like the coming of night. The Sun slept and woke with disease, the once bright light now turns black…
And the lyrics are once again quite curious – carrying that apocalyptic sort of edge that always catches my attention:
Come and gone like the hardest night rain of the darkest night sky. 200 years have left mankind with no end, to an empty life, to an empty world, just repeating itself, to an empty hell. Waiting for nothingness. Wings are spread as this dark angel falls from the sky, falling from the stars to to bring an answer to mankind. Receding tissue decays from hollowed bones. Dried blood crumbles to the ground beneath a rotting soul…
Definitely a different looking layout than anticipated as well, so it's cool to see the band doing their own thing all around with this material. Nicely done. I hope things start to pick up for both the band and the label based on this shit, so check it out and see what you think:
This one's not out until the first week of June, but several pre-order packages are already available (CD's, shirts, and even good ol' vinyl for all you collectors) and they'll ship a little early, so… why wait? And don't be an asshole and download this shit: Buy it if you're a fan. Get to it: