UNEARTH

"The March" (Metal Blade; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

It seems that a lot of metal bands with suffix genres (such as "-core") attached to them are stepping into the concept album arena. "The March" from Unearth is their venture into storytelling by way of "The Evil" and "The Hopeful."

The Evil: The balancing of power within government, religion and money allows those who are hungry for control to tip it in their favor and limit all freedoms.

The Hopeful: A nation that does not fight over class or religion but uses peace to come together will overcome all with faith. Mankind holds the key to peace. There is either going to be a March of power and greed or a March of a unified race.

This music will stomp a hole in you and the blast beats from drummer Derek Kerswill sound like controlled machine guns with fury fueled by galloping beasts. The guitar has that metalcore style with crunchy rhythms and blistering solos. It frickin' rocks!

Trevor Phillips delivers his venomous lyrics by spewing them all over the place. In order to read the story as it is presented it's best to have the booklet open so you can follow along. The last track, "Silence Caught By The Stubborn Tongue," has a hidden song embedded after it ends; it's entitled "Our Callous Skin," and you have to wait for some white noise but it's there. Enjoy that little Easter egg.

Unearth: Trevor Phipps vocals; Buz McGrath guitar; Ken Susi guitar/vocals; John Maggard bass/vocals; Derek Kerswill drums.

For more information visit http://www.unearth.tv

"III: In the Eyes of Fire" (Metal Blade; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Unearth lays down its angriest, darkest, and most imminent album to date with "III: In the Eyes of Fire." Produced by Terry Date (Pantera, Soundgarden, Deftones), the 11 tracks found on this blistering offering are equipped with neck-snapping thrash guitars, concrete-smashing rhythms, and vocals that burst from the speakers with unadulterated rage. 

Yes, there are breakdowns. Giant, volatile, and crushing ones on cuts like "This Glorious Nightmare" and "Impostors Kingdom" that can wreck small villages. And yes, there are Swedish metal licks galore, like the galloping "March of the Mutes" and the Testament-esque "Sanctity of Brothers," only two of the many to snack on for mavens of the riff. 

While some may contest the praise Unearth receives, the fact is that few bands have stayed as brutal while successfully retaining their foundation as this disc indicates, keeping this Massachusetts-based quintet consistently at the top of the underground's elite. Mosh-worthy and headbangingly thorough, Unearth have whipped up a ferocious and frenzied album that is unquestionably metal to the core. 

For more information visit http://www.unearth.tv

"The Oncoming Storm" (Metal Blade; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter



Unearth revealed themselves on my radar screen when their mini-CD, "Endless," was released courtesy of Eulogy Recordings. Instantly, I heard a band that was capable of big things. After some major slots on some big tours Unearth signed to Metal Blade which at the very least secured a greater deal of marketing exposure than they'd been used to. Unearth is lucky that their music does most of the selling for them, but having Metal Blade on your side doesn't hurt.

The impressive feature of Unearth's music is its sonic density and nearly unparalleled dynamics. Most bands have one or the other going for them Unearth has both features in spades. The sonic density of "The Oncoming Storm" is nearly oppressive at times and the twin-guitar dynamics are enlightening quite a way to dance between polar opposites.

Unearth are lumped in the metalcore crowd and rightfully so. However, I hear more traditional metal and thrash metal than most bands in the metalcore genre are willing of playing. Perhaps I should say more than most bands in the genre are capable of playing? However, the traditional metal stylings of Unearth allow for the compelling use of melody giving the monstrous riffs and precision-tuned aggression a new facet that lacks comparison. Tracks like "Zombie Autopilot" and "Black Hearts Now Reign" are prime examples of how this band is conquering the metal masses.

"The Oncoming Storm" is an impressive leap forward for Unearth the band has clearly raised the bar not only for themselves but for every single band in the metalcore genre.

"The Oncoming Storm" was produced, engineered, and mixed by Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage).

Unearth: Trevor Phipps on vocals, Ken Susi and Buz McGrath on guitars, John "Slo" Maggard on bass, and Mike Justian on drums.

For more information visit http://www.unearth.tv

"Endless" (Eulogy Recordings; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

This four-song mini-CD features three new tracks and one previously unreleased demo from Massachusetts' most well-known metalcore band. Although metalcore as a defined genre has been around for awhile now, Unearth's "Endless" is further proof of how the metal and hardcore worlds are melding into a new, distinct art form along with the attendant merging of the two fan bases.

The title track and "The Charm" have a Swedish metal influence or at the very least a filtered Darkest Hour influence with their dual guitar harmony. "Internal War" sounds more like a typical metalcore song upon the first casual listen, but eventually reveals itself to be a pretty neat slab of hardcore through metal eyes. The fourth and final track is the original demo of "My Desire" which appeared on the band's first full-length effort "The Strings Of Conscience" and seems eerily like a Darkest Hour song right down to the aggressive John Henry delivery.

Each track features really catchy breakdowns and wild mixes of positive energy and cathartic aggression. Unearth also go against the grain by presenting their positive philosophy through their lyrics. These four tracks in fifteen minutes provide a swift kick in the ass for those of you that like your metal and hardcore mixed up into a glorious stew.

Metalcore fans that appreciate melody and fans of Darkest Hour, Shadows Fall, Hopesfall, and Overcast will like Unearth.

Unearth is Trevor Phipps on vocals, Ken Susi and Buz McGrath on guitars, John Slo Maggard on bass, and Mike Rudberg on drums.

For more information visit http://www.unearth.tv

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Apr 2013 01:45:37 -0500.