Working in the corporate world, I'm really bored of philistines with
their powerpoint presentations using this term, but Unearthly Trance
really have carved a niche in the doom metal genre. Seriously, even though
they get lumped with the extreme doom/sludge bands in the scene, more
so because they tour together, these guys have an undeniable early 80s
influenced sound going on. If you're a fan of Celtic Frost and Venom
and are really big on doom, this is a band that brings it all
together for you. With this established, the band are always redefining
themselves and coming up with albums always better than the previous
2008's Electrocution is no exception. With an amazing
modern-in-a-good-way artwork and slick layout packaged in a nifty
digipack, the album is just plain astonishing after a month's heavy
rotation. With the punk-paced Celtic/Venom influenced angle always in
tandem with slow dirgy doom sound of theirs, the band keeps it
interesting with further refined songwriting and their superlative
delivery, powered by glorious sounding fuzzy guitars, distorted bass,
and often pounding tribal drums with tried and tested anti-religion/god
lyrics and visuals. Fantastic production too.
I must mention, there's going to be a song like Diseased, which renders
all my attempts at pigeonholing their sound futile, with its clean
arpeggiated chords and clean singing parts (done surprisingly well
too). Vocals are supplied by the guitarist Rion Lipynsky and he seems
to do the percussive screams often with intonation, and with clean
singing every now and then, things are always very powerful. He'd
occasionally come across sounding like a southern sludge guy too.
picks of the album are in the second half. Burn You Insane is your text
book Unearthly Trance song and would be a perfect track to have a
newbie start off with. Added bonus would be the cool noisy outro.
album closer Distant Roads Overgrown boasts two of the best riffs of the
album. The band goes nuts around the 4 minute mark with the drummer
going all 70s on us with his rolls, and guitars doing the
noise-feedback thing, before doing their most ferocious and thrashy bit
on the album yet. Of course, it all slows down to our typical doom pace,
but then the band would do those pounding drums again accompanying the
clean guitars and then get to that awesome heavy-as-fuck riff once
more. Another lesson in great dynamics in songwriting. It's clearly
over the eight minute mark before the noisy indulgence of an outro
kicks in, but it certainly doesn't feel so. Longest song of the album,
but the whole damn thing is cool like that. Not an easy listen, but this is their best yet.
Screw the naysayers, Relapse is still putting out good albums every year.
Year of Release: 2008