Formed as a five-piece outfit in late 1990s Boston, Unearth stands as a metalcore act that's since hovered above and beyond the ranks of their community in many ways. The band's been featured on several largescale record labels, performed at countless live shows, and have heavy metalled their path into the limelight with a whopping seven full length releases under their belt. And today, they finally return once again with a brand spanking new and (hopefully) heavy as ever album for us to assault our senses with. Let's check it!
This new release, simply titled Extinction(s), is Unearth's seventh full length album to date. The album is available now through Century Media Records in addition to other retailers and sports ten tracks of modern yet at the same time nostalgic metalcore content throughout, which amounts to just about 38 minutes of core-esque heaviness, stellar (if a bit different) lyricism, and some breakdown happy vibes. Oddly enough, the cover artwork reminds me a lot of some prog band covers, namely those of The Contortionist, Make Them Suffer and the like, though with a darker sort of twist to it.
When I was first going into it, I was admittedly a bit put off due to the negative reactions that other people were giving this album. General concensus wasn't the best for it, but I still took the chance to give it the old college try. And, looking back on it now after listening, I'm glad I went ahead and listened to it anyway. To me, there was just so much merit and nostalgic value to this particular album. From the first song, you get those little August Burns RedxMisery Signals feels from the guitar work alone. Earlier on, in songs like 'Incinerate' and 'Survivalist', it may seem all over the place at first. However, you just have to let all the arpeggio picking and chromatics grow on you.
That being said, the riff action and drumming in the first couple tracks is solid, though the vocals could've had more to them (though I will say that they do improve as the album progresses). Additionally, one complaint I do have with this one is the overall mixing/mastering on the drums. Seems at times like they are overpowered by the guitars and the snare is kind of inaudible. Another worthy thing to mention about Extinction(s) is the creative use of breakdowns. Sometimes, there will be more straightforward chugging or polyrhythms while at other points, especially later in songs like 'Sidewinder' and 'One With The Sun' (which also happen to be two of my faves off this one), there are more chromatic-based breakdowns and ones that are accompanied with those lovely gang vocals.
The album does have some surprises here and there, notably with the use of acoustic guitars in a couple of the outros and slight vocal variety throughout. Despite this, however, it is hardly any different from the classic Unearth sound that we've grown to know. And, with all that, you could take that for what you will, as I would seriously recommend that any and all core fans check this one out for themselves.
Extinction(s) by popular metal-corers Unearth does have a few tricks up its sleeves. It's a nostalgic type of trick through ten heavy tracks of some pretty stellar oldschool Earth Crisis/Misery Signals/metallic hardcore-inspired music with some newer surprises sprinkled in. Overall, with more technical songs like 'Incineration' as well as more straightforward, yet heavy and edgy tracks such as 'Sidewinder' and 'Hard Lined Downfall', this mixed bag has managed to outdo my initial expectations and, quite honestly, despite its obvious mixing flaws and vocal-wise shortcomings, it might be one of the more enjoyable metalcore releases that I've heard recently.
Fave Tracks: 'Incineration', 'Survivalist', 'Sidewinder'
For Fans Of: All That Remains, Shadows Fall, more oldschool metallic hardcore
**This release is available now here and at many fine retailers!**
Support your fave artists and musicians!
-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.