III: In the Eyes of Fire

This band was my first introduction into the present day metalcore scene. Obviously, metalcore was around way before that, but the mixture of Gothenburg melodic death and hardcore was just undeniable when Unearth slammed the metal world with their debut The Stings Of Conscience. Since then, the band has proved that in a sea of redundant posers they are held as one of the original masters in the new American metal scene.It is very hard for Unearth to stay on top, considering the downright flawless records that have been released from their peers (Killswitch Engage and All That Remains). Though most of the popular acts in this genre lean heavily on the commercial side of things, they also bear a very diverse platter of metal genres mixed into one. Unearth do not deliver a mixture at all. In fact, since The Oncoming Storm the Gothenburg thing has pretty much been replaced with straight up death/thrash. Honestly, besides the breakdowns and the bands history, I wouldn’t even call them a metalcore act anymore.

Press releases before the album hit the streets said that III was going to be Unearths’ heaviest and darkest release to date. Damn straight it is. Actually, a friend of mine commented on how pissed off it sounded when he first heard it. Thrash riffs galore! Guitar players Buz McGrath and Ken Susi are talented players, and the breakdowns are the finest to come out of Boston. “Imposters Kingdom” executes the most hateful breakdown on the record. It’s so damn pummeling you can’t help but laugh. There are plenty moments on this album that give me goose bumps and make the hair raise on my neck.

I really can’t say that anything here is original but Unearth have enough style to hold interest. Although I praise the record, it’s the same thing we have heard before from the Boston acts, just more death/thrash. Drumming is exhausting, the guitars are thrashy, solos are released ridiculously well, and the vocals are as only Trevor can deliver. There are no clean vocals in Unearths music, and if that were to happen –¬†well lets just say they wouldn’t be the same band. There isn’t a shred of mainstream lean here. Unearth are just very likable, and with topics surrounding the worlds issues, who can’t enjoy them? Plus they bring those familiar riffs to the table.

Where the record will fail to hold attention lies in the fact that there isn’t much diversity. To me that’s not a problem, but when your talking about Boston’s heavyweights, I fear the popular crowd won’t give this record as much as it deserves. Unearth are one of Boston’s heavy hitters, and they have already turned heads more that a few times with this release and their back catalogue. I hope they keep going strong because this is yet another fine example of what American metal is all about. Strongly recommended listening.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
September 12th, 2006


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