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Unison Theory – Arctos

Unison Theory
by Anton Sanatov at 14 April 2017, 7:18 PM

What if you had the power to just ram it down? To make waves that would alter the sensory chemistry of those who surf across the tectonic plates? Would you hit the ground with all you’ve got or shy away from responsibility? Yet more importantly, what if the power in your possession was not the strongest of them all, would you loose conviction or push on forward?

Perhaps it is safe to say that Metalcore has always had its detractors. Yet whilst it may not be considered the most purebred of the Metal kin, one cannot deny that when done right, it packs a certain superpower that is capable of overcoming banal criticism. Every now and then that hero doeth indeed come along to consolidate the genre’s presence in the Metal community…and Italian quintet UNISON THEORY are looking to find one of those crusaders in their debut “Arctos”.

As far as origin stories go, this one appears to stem from some isolated plain across the arctic. The dark, cold-blooded tone of the band’s sound resonates with a heavy mechanical fidelity whilst retaining a feral lack of hospitability. Its demeanour is undoubtedly Metalcorish – there is are shards of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE glistening throughout the entire record – and yet instead of trying to crack the ice beneath your feet with long, clichéd breakdowns, the band maintains a steady, mature gait with technical guitar work, appropriate Death Metal influences, a Thrash-oriented approach and a Djenty atmosphere.

Following a brief intro, the record opens strong with “Omega”, a ‘Djentrified’ Metalcore offering that fuses together the groovy nature of the former with the driven (albeit somewhat bland) riffage of the latter; playing to the strengths of both and delivering a truly solid Metal number. The opening track also makes a point of introducing the rather impressive guitar aptitude of Omar Mohamed, which manifests itself through an array of tight sweeping and Marty Friedman-esque velvety cacophony.

The record continues to surge with energy as it moves onto “Arrigetch: The Devil’s Passage”, a Thrash machine that bites hard with fierce up-tempo riffing and hints of such modern Metal heavyweights like REVOCATION. Yet it isn’t until the band reach “Project Shockwave” that they truly start to cultivate their potential and realise the extent of their abilities. The aforementioned track sees the band crank out a Progressive, Djent-flavoured juggernaut that bravely ventures towards Tech-Death borders and delivers a chaotically heavy yet competently wrapped amalgam of multiple influences.

The latter is precisely what separates UNISON THEORY from your average Metalcore collectives. Further like-minded progressive offerings like “Level 4” and “The Price of Eternity” go on to solidify the righteous status of this record with technique-laden metallic domination, whilst the fine-tuned production and apt mixing make for a truly enjoyable listening experience. Although the entire band sounds incredibly tight, it is Alexander Startsev’s powerhouse vocal performance that deserves especial recognition, for Startsev’s emotive outrage adds monumental strength and brilliantly rough poise to every track.

Overall – “Arctos” indeed has signs of a hero in the making. UNISON THEORY’s debut is a confident and sensible offering that should please any Metal fan regardless of their genre inclinations. Whilst it is not the most adventurous of champions, “Arctos” does not sidestep risks and proves to be a stride towards greatness.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Deepeye
  2. Omega (Feat. Rafael Tujillo)
  3. Arrigetch: The Devil's Passage
  4. Project Shockwave (Feat. Tommaso Riccardi)
  5. Grendel
  6. Lever 4
  7. Polar Sentinel
  8. The Price of Eternity
Alexander Startsev – Vocals
Omar Mohamed - Guitars
Simone Tempesta – Drums
Giulio Rimoli – Bass
Record Label: Time To Kill Records


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