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Unexpect - Fables Of The Sleepless Empire CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.11 | 308 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Monstrous Collossus of Prog Metal

Every musician will tell you seeing a really great show usually elicits one of two feelings. Either you want to go home and grab your instrument immediately, or you want to set it down forever. With FABLES OF THE SLEEPLESS EMPIRE, Unexpect may have made the majority of the prog metal community want to set their instruments down and go start selling insurance. There are dozens of albums in the genre that feature some great elements but leave something lacking. This album makes me think, "That's what they were trying to do." A few obvious examples are Indukti and Shaolin Death Squad, bands I adore, along with other favorites like Leprous and Arcturus. All of these are extremely strong bands that now seem like apprentices to Unexpect's master.

With this over-the-top praise, I must issue a few qualifiers. 1. If you don't like metal, you will hate this album. 2. This is not beautiful art metal like Maudlin of the Well or Devin Townsend's Terria. 3. Though the album is more accessible than its predecessor, it's still like drinking out of the fire hose. It can be exhausting. 4. The massive amount of activity does not work as background music in any capacity. It starts to blend together into a mush unless you're paying full attention. 5. This is complexity for complexity's sake, intensity for intensity's sake, craziness for craziness's sake. If that turns you off, don't bother.

UneXpect's IN A FLESH ACQUARIUM is perhaps the craziest piece of avant-metal ever made. For FABLES, the band added not only a vastly improved sense of composition, but also infused numerous displays of technical prowess that are often on the leading edge of the member's respective instruments. Bassist Chaoth (on 9-string) is especially mind-boggling, but the guitars and drums match any DT clone prowess while working through songs that are not only more complex, but infinitely more emotionally evocative. The voices are superb. I am not a fan of harsh vocals, but the variety of harsh tones used here seem more appropriate, more in place than perhaps any other album I've heard. The harmonies between the female, semi- operatic tones and the goth-y low male are tight and spooky. (Definitely evocative of Garm's occasionally out-of-tune work with Arcturus, but hitting pitch perfectally ever time.) Violin also plays a large role on this album, interweaving lines with guitars and bass.

At my fifth or sixth listen through, I am still discovering new mind-blowing aspects of this album on every song. If you love metal, pick it up and get ready for your jaw to drop. Likely to be prog metal album of the year. 5/5

Negoba | 5/5 |


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