Sunless
Urraca

New Zealand’s Ulcerate apparently are far more influential than they know. While Gorguts gets the lions share of the credit for the churning, murky atonal style of off kilter death metal, Ulcerate were 3 albums in before Colored Sands and Gorguts‘ return. Other fine bands like Zhrine, Zealotry, MiseristConstruct of Lethe, Ara, Artificial Brain, Mitochondrion and others have all delivered the same style to great effect, and now go ahead and add Minnesota’s Sunless to that list.

Formed by Lucas Scott, an active player in the Minnesota metal scene having cut his teeth in the likes of Pestifere, Australis, Enshrined and The Body Beneath, Sunless  delivers an crumbling, discordant take on death metal akin to all the bands mentioned above, and does it rather well.

As with all the bands in the style, this really isn’t about moments, or catchy riffs, but rather a nauseating, suffocating overall atmosphere that collapses inwards and jars with muddy but kaleidoscopic time changes and staggering blasts. One moment the band is seeping along with a controlled, dissonant shamble (opener “Wishes Fallen om Deafened Ears”, “Magpie””Windswept Rock”), then they are delivering an atonal, glass shattering tech frenzy (“Disintegration of Man”, “The Ancient Ones”), and there are a number of tracks that do both like “Obsidian Wing” and “Born of Clay”

It’s all well done with the trio having plenty of skill to go toe to toe with their peers, but they are not quite there yet. First, the songs never quite fully unfurl, especially with a few of them being longer rangier affairs. Beyond standouts “Windswept Rock”, “Born of Clay” and the more pummeling “Gathering at the Skull’s Eye”, I cant say I’m fully sucked in, but more casually intrigued. Also- the production is pretty clean and clear, and the vocals are just ‘there’, sapping some of the power from the style that should have a more commanding, cavernous presence.

Still, a pretty damn solid, and promising release. And I look for Lucas an co. to only get better and make Sunless a major player, no just in the Minneapolis/Minnesota scene but if these guys get on with say a Willowtip, could make a more national or international  impression.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 22nd, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick K

    Lucas did not form Sunless he just joined group on vocals/guitar. I sent him review and he commented this. Just thought i would share. Great review Erik. NK


  2. Commented by: Jerry

    These are my friends and I’ve played with them a number of times- you wouldn’t believe how tight they are live. Their command of the material is insane.


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