UNEARTH – Extinction(s) (Album Review)

American metalcore legends Unearth are back with their seventh album Extinction(s) which the band describe as an album “full of venom toward the wrongs of the world, fighting back against the precarious position civilization is in, determined to effect some kind of change.” The inevitability of death, loss, and tragedy is a persistent theme throughout.

The band entered Graphic Nature Studio with producer Will Putney to begin recording their new album. Drums were recorded by Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist of fellow Boston band Killswitch Engage. Bass guitar, guitar solo and vocals were tracked at the Brick HitHouse.

Headphones on, I dive straight into this cacophony of sound with open ears. Ears which are forcibly greeted by the crunching rhythmic guitar of the album opener “Incinerate”. This is a powerful opener from the off with a winding guitar riff straddling the vocals through the chorus and an amazing guitar solo played over the verse at lightning speed. This is a great track full of piss and vinegar, the vocals are ferocious but then again what more would you expect? Check out the track’s video below.

Second track “Dust” is no different. Powerful and filled throughout with guitar histrionics. This one is much heavier than the last, punctuated with a plodding death metal sounding riff dropping into the mix in parts. With a good set of studio headphones on you can hear every cymbal tinkle away throughout this track which adds another dimension to it. The guitar work again is fast and furious and another great track is done.

I love this down-tuned out of tune riff over the opening bars of “Survivalist”. The vocals are a little more screamo over this one reminding me of bands like Bullet For My Valentine and Funeral For A Friend and in parts a little more decipherable than the tracks I’ve heard so far. This to my ears is a bit more throwaway and it seems as if it was written with the circle pit in mind.

“Cultivation of Infection” is a great title for a track, especially if it’s brutally heavy. It opens with a hauntingly plucked guitar before blasting into action with a cutting riff that blazes along with the vocals. Something different here with an almost melodic chorus but not a hint of melodic vocals to follow along. I love the building turning guitar riff that just grows and grows within the chorus.

“The Hunt Begins” almost reminds me of fellow Bostonian’s Killswitch Engage as the opening riff rains out with nothing but destruction in mind. This is a painfully heavy track that just smashes the shit out of everything before it. As it hits the 2-minute mark and that grinding riff takes over followed by a strung harmonic, I’m hooked. As the track comes to a close it drops down to what sounds like a rap track before bashing your ears in again as it closes.

“Hard Lined Downfall” has an industrial edge to it as the track begins it resembles something from Static X or Fear Factory with its almost machine-like riff and hyper speed drumming. Repetitive is the name of the game on this one and not my favorite track on offer here but not a bad one by all means. “King of the Arctic” the first track about the T.V. show Ice Road Truckers… just kidding… I don’t know, but there’s something about this track as it begins, it gives you a feeling of winter in its drawn-out chords. As we get further into the track the guitars start to Pogo all over the place but come back to bring in the cold once more as it rings out towards the end.

“Sidewinder” has a down-tuned grinding riff that is just guitar gold. This track rips, pounds and destroys everything in its path. The blast beats pour over the chorus as a distant voice screams out ‘sidewinder’ in a tone that’s dipped in agony. Oh yeah! That riff again is just chopping and cutting everything in its path. “No Reprisal” blasts off with a beautiful melodic guitar part that rings out over a guttural scream and punishing beat. The twin lead is sweet and sounds so perfect between the chaos that’s ensuing.

Here we are at the final track “One With the Sun” is a scorcher (pardon the pun). No, it really is, the riff is bouncing and there are some nice little melodic punches of guitar throughout. This is so fast and furious, the guitars are on machine gun setting again as is the drumbeat. The breakdown at the 2:30 mark is genius with its almost Gothic monk-like chanting in the background. Great track, amazing album. If you like your music heavy, fast, ferocious, futuristic, grinding, melodic and well just to go buy it and stop spending your hard earned dollars on Justin Bieber.

Extinction(s) is out now on Century Media.

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