Unearth
The March

Released with relatively little fanfare, Unearth’s fourth studio album shows that this Boston band, while certainly never able to attain the level of magnificence of The Stings of Conscience, is one of the most consistent and predictably satisfying American metal acts around.

The formula, as with like minded act Killswitch Engage, is simple; deft Swedish dual guitar harmonies, hardcore breakdowns and a thrash back bone all wrapped up in a polished and marketable form of metal. That being said, there is an immediate improvement on The March that’s apparent from galloping opener “My Will be Done”; Unearth have finally unleashed guitarists (the underrated) Buzz McGrath and Ken Susi. Solos abound, The March features more sumptuous leads and melodies than the last two offerings, that just seem far more deliberate, melodic and elegant.

Underneath the many, many solos, is Unearth’s robust, expected sound that they have now perfected. Crunchy riffs, Trevor Phipps raspy shout (with no clean croons), John Maggard’s steady bass and Derek Kerwill’s stout drums. But as you listen to standout tracks like “Crow Killer”, “Grave of Opportunity”, “We Are Not Anonymous”, “The March”, “Cutman” and “Truth or Consequence” (though I could have done without the 2 minutes of white noise that proceeds a pretty sturdy hidden track, “Silence Caught The Stubborn Tongue”) which all feature some sort of killer guitar flourish that just adds something special to the already solid material. Not that The Oncoming Storm or Chapter III were bereft of solos or had crappy solos, but there was some filler but on The March something has just fully ‘clicked’, and resulted in a far more dynamic and pleasing album rather than just another Unearth album or American metal album. Also helping, is that producer Adam Adam Dutkiewicz appears to have found a slightly more natural and organic sound for Unearth as opposed to the rigid, over produced, clinical feel of the last two albums. You could construe penultimate ballad “Letting Go” as a negative, but personally it adds a little depth and restraint to the album, though it would have been the perfect endnote to the album. There also seems slightly less reliance on telegraphed breakdowns which will upset the Hot Topic crowd, but it just adds to the more mature feel of the album.

You are hard pressed to find bands that improve their four albums into the game, but somehow Unearth, while certainly a different band from 1999s genre defining debut, appear to have cemented their status as one of the genres most important and steady acts and shown they can improve and develop rather than simply rest on their laurels.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 31st, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    I was really excited about this when I heard there would be more solos, but after 5-6 spins, it hasn’t really clicked. The solos are good, but something is just amiss, or it’s just taking longer to soak up. I absolutely love In The Eyes of Fire – it was one of 06 faves. I dunno. I’ll have to spin it some more. It’s definitely not a bad album though.


  2. Commented by: Stiffy

    Loved these guys. But yet I just don’t get as excited anymore. Don’t know why. They haven’t went astray. Maybe its the formula thing. Nevertheless, very talented, seriously guys.


  3. Commented by: swampthang

    i just went to a show they were headlining and walked out before them and protest the hero played. Unearth sucks always did. worst metalcore band by far.


  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Swamp-you have the most unpredictable, all over the place tastes in metal ive ever seen!


  5. Commented by: xBenx

    For real swamp, im with T man on this one


  6. Commented by: SludgeHammer

    I don’t get it. Do some people just post on album reviews or are they on the forums but under a different name?


  7. Commented by: Deepsend Records

    I’ve never been a fan of these guys. I haven’t heard the new album. I wonder, are they still playing the same 1 breakdown they’ve been playing since “The Stings..”? This band has done nothing noteworthy to take the genre to the next level. There is something to say about a band that writes the same record 3-4 times and sells it as a different album to the same people. Just shows how fucked up the fanbase has become. It’s a dead genre.


  8. Commented by: swampthang

    thats a good thing right


  9. Commented by: Cynicgods

    These guys bore me. One more for the “Music I don’t like, but can respect” bin.


  10. Commented by: Reignman35

    Solid album… These guys are one of the PIONEERS of the genre, so to say they are part of a tired or dying genre is complete crap…


  11. Commented by: ERK

    These guys haven’t really done anything all that interesting since The Oncoming Storm. That album was great as far as metalcore goes, but the last album and this new one are just boring ot me. These guys just have seemed to lost the ability to write memorable songs that you want to listen to again. It’s the same thing with the new All That Remains album. I used to dig their stuff, but that new album they put out this year is awful.


  12. Commented by: jk666

    I’m with Staylow. I loved the last album and was looking forward to hearing this but haven;t been able to get into it.


  13. Commented by: Dimaension X

    As “polished and marketable” as reviewers claim these bands are, we’ll never hear them on radio, will we. As popular as Shadows Fall, KSE, and Unearth are, Massachusetts radio channels will not play any of their music. It’s all Nickelback, Daughtry, Metallica, old Nirvana, etc.

    When will radio wake up?


  14. Commented by: plaguemyheavensblack

    I find it odd that Swamp seems to think that one of the originators of the “metalcore” sound, is one of the worst metalcore bands ever.
    Totally agree with ET that they’ll never top the Stings of Conscience.


  15. Commented by: Staylow

    Dimaension X – Our local “rock” station occasionally plays Shadows Fall, KSE and Lamb of God. And they used to (not sure if they still do) have a 2 hour block on Fri and Sat night starting around 11pm where they played nothing but thrash, black, death and old, real punk. It was pretty cool.


  16. Commented by: swampthang

    So what bro I just don’t dig them.


  17. Commented by: gozer666

    i noticed 2 posts referring to them as one of the pioneers or originators of the metalcore genre. i totally disagree, that is unless you are referring to the now overdone and overall generic hot topic version of metalcore and not the good old metalcore of the mid-late 90s where not every band sounded the same.


  18. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Yeah I think when you talk of Unearth, Prayer For Cleansing and Poison the Well you are talking about 3 bands that helpded start ‘modern’ mealcore, not the early real metalcore like Integrity, Turmoil, Converge and such.


  19. Commented by: vegard

    i have no idea why, but this little metalcore discussion makes me think of endthisday. that band was awesome, and probably one of the first metalcore albums i heard. not influental enough to be called pioneers i guess, but i hear a lot of their sound in todays bands.


  20. Commented by: guitarnerd

    Unearth steals other band’s material. This is how:

    The track “Silence Caught the Stubborn Tongue” is a complete ripoff of two songs written by Bay Area local band Something Must Die (who broke up around 2004-2005). The songs are “Nothing” and “Determination” and can be heard at myspace.com/somethingmustdie. The intro to “Silence Caught the Stubborn Tongue” is taken from “Determination” and the part that follows from the song “Nothing”.

    How did this connection happen?

    Peter Layman, one of the guitarists for Something Must Die, filled in on guitar duties for Buz McGrath during Unearth’s 2005 Australian/Japan tour. Layman then went on to form the band Apiary, which was then signed to Ironclad Recordings (Trevor Phipps’ label).

    I only post this because I have lost all (if any to begin with) respect for Unearth as musicians. If it were coincidence, then it would be one thing, but the connection between Unearth and Something Must Die is obvious.

    No one should ever buy their CD or go to their concert again. To do so is to fund chumps who steal other band’s material.


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