New Life Behind Closed Eyes

You are mistaken if you are thinking this is the Finnish doom band of the same name so click away now if you were expecting a mournful recollection of misery. Instead is the complete other side of the spectrum, fierce, robust, thrashing metal from a place more likely to be more miserable then Finland, that being Syracuse, New York.

At the New England Metal and Hardcore fest earlier this year, Unholy really smoked, they were tight, precise and bursting with relentless energy and fit the profile snugly of the prosthetic archetype. That being the band is heavy yet tuneful and stoutly modern whilst openly referencing but not relying on its past influences but using them as a cornerstone to meld their compositions.

Certainly guitarist Jonathan Dennison has come along way from his days in Another Victim and the Promise, where his work was as potent as it is here but it was far more direct, that being said time has definitely not calmed his fire. Reason being is that the album is firmly driving by his biting guitar work, with each searing riff deftly punching with a glowing thickened resonance, echoing to that classic Syracuse chug proudly conceived by Another Victim, Earth Crisis (of course) and a billion other Syracusian entities unbeknown to the wider world. However this is coated simultaneously with an intricacy and grace even that owes more to the more classical metal entities of years gone by.

This supremely generous helping of metal, makes it hard to believe that the band has any core roots, so supremely metallic New Life is. In fact, even in comparison to Unholy’s previous output it’s somewhat hard to believe it’s the same band at times, yet, it is. New front man Billy Price is a salient factor to this. His earthy bellow sounding more commanding and masculine in comparison to the sneering rasp of Danny Johnson, who was perhaps more of an acquired taste and didn’t compliment as naturally the musings of the band (that’s not to say Unholy’s previous efforts were flawed, far from it but they perhaps needed someone of Price’s stature to move forward commercially).

With this impressive effort Unholy have shown their artistic integrity is paramount to their music, especially Dennison who you would have thought after so many years playing in bands that don’t quite crack the big time would have pushed for something more far reaching and mass appealing.
Good on him and his band mates that he hasn’t.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
August 4th, 2009


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