In a Flesh Aquarium

The End is a perfect fit for these unclassifiable Canadian oddities, as unless you frequent the Cirque D’Soleil while tripping balls and listening to Emperor and Mr Bungle on your head phones, I’ll almost guarantee you’ve never heard anything like this.I will try my best to sum this 7 piece entourage up for you as best as I can; take the technical mindfuckery of Gorguts (especially the bass work of ChaotH), the discordant complex heaviness of Despised Icon or Ion Dissonance, the bizarre carnival symphonics of Arcturus and the tearstained, makeup smeared, darkest nightmares of Tara B (ex-Nightwish) or Kate Bush, and you might, and I mean might, have some idea of Unexpect’s utterly warped yet magnificent take on freakshow extremity.

Seriously people, don’t even try to listen to this if you are not high beyond belief or truly prepared to be taken to the limits of what is classifiable as extreme metal. On paper, the mix of angular, complex death metal, twisted black metal, over the top theatrics and beautifully disturbing female vocals should not work, but Unexpect manage to defy every single tangible law of metal and meld In a Flesh Aquarium into a twisted work of sheer, breathtaking genius.

The thing is, under all the costumes, circus like atmospheres, operatic vocals, deep growls, and truly distracting yet amazing extraneous elements, there is a really heavy band. A band who when stripped of all their carnivale exterior could be just as deadly and devastating as Fuck The Facts, so throw in all the totally weird synth work, schizoid vocal interplay and you having something, really, really special, even if hard to initially comprehend.

Virtually every track is a standout as tracks like “Chromatic Chimera,” “Summoning Senses” and “Megalomaniac Tress” ooze organized chaos at every pore, while being mesmerizing, dazzling and hypnotic at the same time. It’s often such an immense, jarring dichotomy, that it often requires many rewinds to hear “did they really just do that?” (i.e. “The Shiver-A Clown’s Mindtrap”). Also, tracks like the calamitously heavy “Feasting Fools” and “The Shiver – Meet Me at the Carousel” underneath their raucous polymorphic exterior are as heavy and complexly intense as anything their Canadian noise/grind/deathcore peers or even The Dillinger Escape Plan belt out. And its all aided by a hefty, low end production that captures the bands energy and off kilter prose perfectly.

The only possible missteps on the album is the largely instrumental industrialized “Silence_011010701” and “The Shiver – A Largely Dissonant Chord” but they do serve as well needed breathers. And epically twisted, 11-minute closer “Psychic Jugglers,” at this point in the highly challenging album, is possibly overkill by this point, but ends the affair with a heaving sense of almost disbelief at what you have just heard.

With In a Flesh Aquarium, Unexpect have delivered the most demented and unclassifiable yet brilliantly unique and challenging album since La Masquerade Infernale.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 7th, 2006


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    one of the most mindbendingly annoying albums I have ever heard. not surprising though considering I have always hated La Masquerade Infernale (despite being a big fan of Aspera Hiems and Sham Mirrors)…

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