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Unit Wail - Retort CD (album) cover


Unit Wail



3.94 | 26 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. Franck Fromy and company are back! And I noticed they just released a new album for 2015 which is fantastic news. Fromy was the guitarist and founding member of the legendary band SHUB-NIGGURATH and he continues with that dark and intense style of music with UNIT WAIL. Vincent the keyboardist composed all the music here and we get plenty of sampled mellotron, in fact this recording is swimming in it. Also the bass is very upfront and distorted while Franck adds a delicious variety of guitar sounds. The drumming is inventive and I must say all of these guys are gun slingers when it comes to their instruments. The liner notes though sparse are all in French unfortunately because there is a little blurb for each song.

"Kakodeamon" is dark with intricate sounds to start as the mellotron rolls in. Here we go! Killer bass right here man, and throughout actually. A calm before 3 minutes with plenty of atmosphere as we get random drum patterns to the end. "Peregrinatio" has some incredible drum work early on as the mellotron waves crash the soundscape along with the ever-present bass lines. The tempo continues to shift. This is so good. More mellotron choirs after 2 minutes. It's quite intense a minute later with the guitar and bass killing it then the mellotron is back! "Tertium Comparations" might be my favourite track. Cymbals and some inventive guitar expressions to start as the mellotron arrives. It then turns fuller as the guitar grinds away. When it settles back it sounds amazing, then the guitar returns again grinding away as it builds. Contrasts continue and I have to say Franck is outstanding on this one not so surprisingly.

"Concupiscentia Effrenata" opens with dark piano along with drums and some atmosphere as the guitar joins in. The guitar is quite jazzy sounding surprisingly but not for long as it all turns more powerful. It's dark after 2 minutes. "Pumapunku" opens with what sounds like hurdy-gurdy as the mellotron choirs bring in a haunting element. Scary is the word. It starts to pickup before 2 minutes and some cool guitar sounds follow as the bass digs deep. It's so intense 4 1/2 minutes in then that hurdy-gurdy-like sound returns to end it. "Numinosity" has such an amazing bass/drum intro as the mellotron storms in. The guitar again impresses me so much. What a thumping rhythm on this one.

"Agathodeamon" has a nice drum intro as the bass joins in followed by mellotron choirs. So good! I like he guitar before 1 1/2 minutes and the band is kicking ass before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "Coincidentia Oppositorum" features some ground shaking bass lines and the drumming is incredible as the mellotron joins the party. "Fixatio" opens with guitar, bass and drums standing out then the mellotron starts to soar before a sudden change as fast paced drums and mellotron lead. It does settle back quickly though and themes are repeated. Some angular guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. "Aqua Permanens" is the longest track at almost 7 minutes. What a composition! Again the mellotron, guitar, bass and drums impress. This song possesses many shades and textures I must say.

Without question this is a top ten release from 2013. There's this dark energy that seems to be associated with Franck Fromy that to be honest scares the hell out of me. Enjoy!

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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