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Unearth - The Oncoming Storm (CD)

The Oncoming Storm
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 26 September 2004, 10:18 PM

Somewhere near Massachusetts  there must be a nest, hatching bands with similar sound trademarks. After Shadows Fall, time has also come for Unearth to release their new, number 4 in sequence, album under the same record label with their fellow-townsmen (it doesn't surprise me). It seems that Metal Blade Records has acknowledged the specific sound's popularity and signs up bands related to it. The result? Satisfactory, a little bit deja-vu though…
Unearth is another band of those who belong to the so called New Wave Of American Heavy Metal and has a respectful background behind it, as the band has already toured with some of the greatest names of the genre like Chimaira and Lamb Of God among others. Their music follows a line between the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal (damn terminologies…) and Hardcore. They sound heavier than most akin bands and personally, I'd place their style somewhere between The Haunted,Hatebreed and In Flames.
They've got everything it needs to make this album a great demand for those who are into this sound.  A huge guitar sound, an enormous production, fine driving riffs and some nice rhythmic changes with more groovy, headbanging parts. But the most important thing above all, is the fact that they avoid using nu-Metal elements to be heard more commercial yet they apply some of NWOSDM's patterns like dual-soloing which of course refers to Iron Maiden.
So, everything seems fine you might assume. Totally rightful assumption, as honestly there's nothing terribly wrong with Unearth or even something that would create a partly negative picture about this album. But nor is there anything extra special and unique about it. I believe that Unearth took the safe way. They didn't experiment, like Shadows Fall for example, and have written an indeed good album but with nothing surprising in it. They perform dynamic music with the necessary melody adjustment but at times they oviously remind us of In Flames's touch. Which is not that bad nor shaking either. From the first hearing, I insist in believing that they do much better in their heavier moments and if they had worked a bit more with the lead guitars the result would be the less deifying.
This band is very promising and I'm not the only one saying that. They've got clever ideas and there are 5-6 songs inside The Oncoming Storm that kick ass. I know its easy to say this but they have to push their music a bit more ahead and not just become another band of this sound. From my point of view, this sound is growing stronger, more and more bands follow it and the competition will be hard. I don't know how much it will last or if it's some kind of trend. What I know is that it would be a pity for a band like Unearth to get early lost in this race. It's a personal bet that this band can do really better than this; I will be waiting…

3 Star Rating

The Great Dividers
This Lying World
Black Hearts Now Reign
Zombie Autopilot
Bloodlust Of The Human Condition
Lie To Purify
Predetermined Sky
False Idols
Trevor Phipps - Vocals
Ken Susi - Guitars
Buzz McGrath - Guitars
John Maggard - Bass
Mike Justian - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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