Saturday, January 15, 2011

Unearthly Trance - V (2010)

Sludge/doom metal from NYC that are currently on Relapse. They've been around since 2000 and "V" is, obviously, their fifth full length and got a lot of hype last year. While I would say I like Unearthly Trance, they've put out a ton of material, mostly EPs, demos, and splits, and I prefer the shorter releases to the LPs.

There are plenty of different elements to keep me entertained/interested. It's not a completely standard doom record and has elements of thrash, experimental metal, and black metal. The guitars are riffy and mournful. "V" is definitely a hateful record, full of anger and loathing. Overall the sludgy, doomy elements are my favorite, as well as the tinny, flat-sounding drums.

Unfortunately the biggest thorn in my side is the vocals, which tends to be a major deal-breaker for me. There are weird hardcore vocals, some good screaming, but also some less than stellar singing. There are certain parts where he channels the Swans' Michael Gira a bit, which I'm very into, but otherwise... meh. I think, at it's core, this album is hip, short-hair metal. Clean cut dudes with a great band name and great album artwork always rub me the wrong way. There is nothing trashy or filthy about this - it actually has a very Neurosis style sound, which will likely appeal to many metal fans.

Despite my shit talking, I do like this album, I'm just not overly crazy about it. I can understand why it made so many "album of the year" lists. Fans of Abandon, Sun O))), Neurosis and sludge metal will enjoy it.

Track list:
1. Unveiled
2. The Horsemen Arrive in the Night
3. Solar Eye
4. Adversaries Mask 1
5. Adversaries Mask 2
6. The Tesla Effect
7. Sleeping While they Feast
8. Submerged Metropolis
9. Current
10. Physical Universe Distorts
11. Into a Chasm
12. The Leveling
13. Untitled

Visit them on myspace, their webpage, or their Relapse page. Listen to it here and decide for yourself.

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