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Next review: » Unexpect - We, Invaders
Released: 2004, Galy Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
I don’t even know how to explain the music of UnexpecT (yes, the capital T at the end is supposed to be there). Imagine a supergroup led by Cristina Scabbia and Shagrath on vocals, riffs by Jon Schaffer, the violinist from My Dying Bride playing in the background and Peter Criss on the drums…and they’re playing songs written for the Barnum & Bailey circus, System of A Down, Cradle of Filth and Nile. Yeah…that’s UnexpecT! This seven-piece band hails from Quebec, Canada and has one full-length release already, 1999’s UTOPIA. WE, INVADERS is an MCD teaser for the band’s forthcoming full-length due later this year.
The songs here are a unique blend of many metal genres all rolled into one package. Black, melodic death, power, goth and prog are mixed with some classical, jazz, Middle Eastern and, as I wrote, circus music. The shrieking black metal vocals are mixed low as is the standard of the genre but the ethereal female vocals are right up front. Leilindel’s voice is powerful but not in the sense of, say, Tarja from Nightwish. She isn’t doing any sweeping arias here. Instead, her heavenly voice is closer to Cristina Scabbia’s or Liv Kristine’s, which offsets SyriaK’s shrieks and suits the music well. Creepy keyboard sections meander through the tracks, while the sound of a haunting violin is present, as well. “Rooted Shadows” features a section that combines Le bateleur’s haunting violin with Middle Eastern sounds that wouldn’t be uncommon on a Nile recording. “In Velvet Coffins We Slept” (a reworking of “In Velvet Coffins We Sleep” from UTOPIA) features an impressive classical acoustic guitar section and “Chromatic Chimera” is a weird instrumental piece led by ExoD’s keyboards.
The songwriting style of UnexpecT can be a bit off-putting because it is so unorthodox with frequent time changes and bizarre breaks but calling them bold visionaries wouldn’t be an exaggeration. It will take more than one listen to really capture the essence of this CD, but at a mere 26 minutes, WE, INVADERS will leave you plenty of time to hit “REPEAT” on your player.
KILLER KUTS: “Novae,” “Rooted Shadows”
2. Rooted Shadows
3. In Velvet Coffins We Slept
4. Chromatic Chimera (Instrumental)
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Next review: » Ungodly - Hate Celebration
Released: 2003, Galy Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
... and the madness of uneXpect continues. "_WE, INVADERS", is the title of the Canadian ´weirdo metallers´ 4-song mini-CD that was put out through Galy Records in 2003, features 26-minutes mishmash of music that really pushes a listener right to that corner where´s no way out from as far as categorizing their music is concerned. These highly musically ambitious and talented Canadians already paved their own strange musical journey on their excellent self-released debut album titled UTOPIA in 1999 - and since then they have been smart enough to stay on their chosen path.
For me, it´s sort of hard to imagine how the members of uneXpect put their songs together and are yet capable of playing their songs the same way each time, note by note. Namely their strangely flowing metal music is like an inconsistently swelling, massive sea of waves that you cannot follow without swimming there first like a few times and getting used to it, and understand it. By melting together elements from technical and progressive Death Metal with some fair doses from Black Metal - and twisting them through a mold made of classical music, folk music, church music, jazzy-tinged parts and ´only-God-knows-what´ -ingredients, made this mini-CD one helluva listening experience that will surely leave some sweet scars in your memory. Whether or not this stuff has meant to be done by using ´originality for originality´s sake´ -method in order to separate the band from the masses, it has really worked out damn well because uneXpect sounds truly powerful yet determinedly innovative and groundbreaking on "_WE, INVADERS"; and the band´s credibility also stays high at the same time which is important as well.
I don´t find any reason to go any further by explaining any detailed way how uneXpect does sound like because there´s no fitting musical category for their kind of musical exploration what they do on this ´hard-to-swallow-at-first-bite´ -26-minutes long release. That task is left for you, dear listener, to do. Now bite this freakin´ bizarre tongue of musical madness!
02. ro0ted shaDows
03. In Velvet Coffins We Slept
04. chroMatic ChiMera
Syriak - Singing gnomish mutant with a green guitar
le bateleur - Violin for rotating scarecrows
Leilindel - Dancing maiden, otherworlded voice
ExoD - Electro-canvas and ianistic attack
ArtagotH - Screaming Oracle. Djun guitar
ChaotH - Deep Resonance and ethylic lucidity
Previous review: » Unexpect - We Invaders