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IN A FLESH AQUARIUM

Unexpect

Experimental/Post Metal


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Unexpect In a Flesh Aquarium album cover
4.14 | 231 ratings | 34 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chromatic Chimera (5:52)
2. Feasting Fools (6:17)
3. Desert Urbania (7:29)
4. Summoning Scenes (7:46)
5. Silence_011010701 (5:13)
6. Megalomaniac Trees (5:57)
7. The Shiver - Another Dissonant Chord (3:00)
8. The Shiver - Meet Me At The Carrousel (4:07)
9. The Shiver - A Clown's Mindtrap (3:41)
10. Psychic Jugglers (11:10)

Total Time 60:36

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

Search UNEXPECT In a Flesh Aquarium tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Syriak / guitars, vocals
- ChaotH / bass
- Le´lindel / female vocals
- Artagoth / guitar, vocals
- ExoD / keyboards
- Le Bateleur / violin
- Landryx / drums

Releases information

CD The End Records

Thanks to Bryan for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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Buy UNEXPECT In a Flesh Aquarium Music


In A Flesh AquariumIn A Flesh Aquarium
The End Records 2006
Audio CD$7.86
$1.89 (used)
Fables Of The Sleepless EmpireFables Of The Sleepless Empire
Audio CD$514.34
$68.26 (used)
In a Fresh AquariumIn a Fresh Aquarium
Import
3d Japan 2006
Audio CD$33.55
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UNEXPECT In a Flesh Aquarium ratings distribution


4.14
(231 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
34%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)
9%

UNEXPECT In a Flesh Aquarium reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by el b÷thy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fans of complexity, innovation, forward thinking, non-repetition and just about everything prog might stand for rejoice... UnExpect is here!

To start reviewing this album I must try not to fall into the cliche of "this band is the craziest... this is the weirdest... never have I heard... bla bla bla". But, man is it hard not too! For it is true! This band is indeed crazy. Just look at their line up: Two guitarist/singers, a female singer, a violinist, a keyboard player, a drummer (so far not that crazy you might say, right?) and a 9 string bass player... ok, so the only really crazy thing about the line up is the 9 string bass player... still, pretty ludacris stuff, people!

Now that I have made the band and line up introduction, I shall move on to the music. The music...it┤s quite extreme! They never stay in one place for too long and never play the same thing twice, it┤s all about variations and changes in this music. To give you a general idea of what they sound like you would have to take Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, pour some Meshuggah into the mix, add two coups of Circus music, shake, not disturb, for three minutes... and leave it in the sun for a weak. Yes, I think that explains it pretty well! Seriously now, you have to listen to them to understan what they are all about. At first it┤s all noise, very heavy noise. But with each listen you will find out more and more layers until you begin to get it, and once you do... wow! Be prepared to be delightfully astonished! Of course this all sounds like heaven, and it might be for some, but unless you are into really complex, weird compositions and heavy (and I do mean heavy) metal, I would advise to check out some other stuff first.

The album is divided into 10 songs, that go from 5 to 10 minutes, I will not go song by song, I will only name a few of them, which might not be necesarly the best ones (as they are all great) but I think the ones that best represent the album. Chromatic Chimera, the first track is one of the best songs of the album. Great opener, intense, shifting (well, which isn┤t?) and full of intelligent melodies (I┤m not sure that makes much sense... but doesn┤t it sound good?). The vocal job here is incredible! Very Avant Garde I must say! Desert Urbania is my favorite track, probaby the one with more hook, this will surely become the classic song in their career. Silence_011010701 is a solo number by keyboarder ExoD (yes, they all have this kind of names) with a bit of help in the violins at the begining by Le Bateleur (see, I told you) that consists of samples and atmospheric keys. It┤s a great change of scenery from the previous ultra heavy, ultra complex songs and it shows that this band can be very varied. Melomaniac trees (yes, I know, the names of this songs are great!!!) is probably the most black metal rooted song of them all. The violin is the stand out here, although not incredible technical, in fact what stands out here is the simplicity of it┤s melodies, which work out perfectly! And last but not least we have the three divided track The Shiver, that goes from the anticipating build ups, to the heaviest stuff on this album, to carnaval music and everything in between. The rest of the songs, as I have said earlier, are great too, but this are the stand outs. Now, it┤s not all sunshine and rainbows. The album is one hour long, there are 10 songs here... it┤s a bit too much. The music is so demanding that one hour might get a bit tiring. Had they cut down two songs, and probably get them on their next album, or Ep (that would be sweet) the album might have worked out better. But, it┤s not the case, and it might not even be a problem for some people, but in my book it┤s an inconvenient.

So, to summon things up, if you like extreme metal and Avant Garde, look no further, this is it!!! This is the album you have been looking for all this time. For those fo you that still can┤t get into Tales of topographic oceans... mmm, might want to wait a bit!

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Send comments to el b÷thy (BETA) | Report this review (#141205) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007

Review by sean
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I once heard this band described as Cirque Du Soleil gone black metal, and I honestly don't think I've heard it described better. Unexpect's music is a sort of combination of black metal, prog, classical, opera, and circus music, and I'm sure I'm missing out on quite a few genres in there. The only bands I've heard that you could really compare them to are Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Mr. Bungle. Overall, the songs are chaotic, but in a very structured sense. It's obvious that they are a tight band. Most of the songs don't stay on any single idea for too long, and in a way, I wish some things would be repeated, but at the same time, it seems like more of a treat when you get to hear a favourite part because you know you won't hear it again. The songs are heavy for the most part, with the 9 string bass being very prominent in the mix, an advantage they have over most metal bands. I honestly don't think this album has a single bad song, though I can't pick a favourite, but that is more because I enjoy them all so much than because none stand out. If I were to pick standout tracks, I'd have to say The Shiver trilogy, Desert Urbania, and Psychic Jugglers. Of interesting note is the vocals. Unexpect has two male vocalists who do most screamed vocals and a female opera type singer. They are mainly in English, though sometimes they go into a sort of inversed French, which is very interesting. The lyrics are difficult to decipher, but seem to be written from a fantasy standpoint. Highly recommended for fans of heavy, avant garde music.

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Send comments to sean (BETA) | Report this review (#157927) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 07, 2008

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars These traveling gypsies have brewed something so dense and alarming, that it may not be fully digested or appreciated for awhile. Suffice to say, Satan would hire this group for his next party. Whether one enjoys the music is a whole other matter, but 'In a Flesh Aquarium' is an undeniably accomplished feat of lust, inspiration and showmanship. It's as if you've stopped your car along the highway to see some little roadside show and end up strapped to a chair, forced to watch a most unnerving display of debauchery and meat-related acts that leave you traumatized but strangely satisfied. It's a real ream up the wazzoo, this one, but leaves no visible damage and will release you mostly unharmed.

The mask of heavy metal is worn but Unexpect is more like musical theater for the damned, led by guitarist/growlers syriaK and Artagoth (no real names given) as well as pianist/electrosampler ExoD, the tipsy quavers of Le bataleur's violin and amazing vocal athletics of mezzo-soprano Leilindel. Cuts as 'Feasting Fools' don't hide the band's thrash foundation but nor does it show any allegiance and 'Desert Urbania' talks back with melodies, chamber breaks, and Metallica-style twin ax assaults. Plenty of good progmetal in 'Summoning Scenes' which even sports a walking jazz aside, rusty avant-classical weeping, more surprisingly delicate piano from ExoD, and the violin shrieks of Bernard Herrmann's Psycho start multi-layered 'Silence 01101070' as it gargles through chugging mechanical works, developing into something that hints at Peter Gabriel's early electro-industrial treatments. 'The Shiver', a 3-part monster, has some impressive guitar phrasing as well as more abrupt movements, invasive procedures, stops and starts, ethnic folk, ritual killings, shastric chants, puppet shows, public sacrifices, and conversations between one person. And it wraps up with the parlour-metal of 'Psychic Jugglers' packed full of thespian staging, salon music, funk, and the inevitable howl of death.

A trip through a constantly changing landscape with so much happening that eventually you just give in and enjoy the ride. Something like the circuses of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum or Mr. Bungle but with sharper edges and higher performance. Weird wild stuff.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#164666) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 22, 2008

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In a Flesh Aquarium is an album of disturbing creativity and excellence, shattering conventions with manic zeal for chaos and invention. Imagine a band of travelling gypsies, playing heavy metal with the utmost technical flair and intensity, on a vaudeville stage in an mental asylum, with Satan sitting in as a guest vocalist/instrumentalist throughout, as the world explodes all around, and you may have some idea of what listening to this album like.

For starters, it's heavy... very heavy. Every song positively roars with a unique menace, and most feature relentless fretwork and gymnastic vocals from the chorus manic throats. Leads are done by a female vocalist, whose clear voice only highlights the instrumental complexity. Expect plenty of squeals, roars, chatterings, etc. from the male vocalists, who create a cast of characters with their vocalizations.

ChaotH's bass is nothing short of earth shaking, while the two guitarists go at each other's throat with sadistic zeal. Their riffing is like a tidal wave of energy while their solos kinesthitize with hilarious logical complexity. The rhythm section is just as good, with the keys especially standing out as the most joyously insane of the bunch, playing counter melodies and harmonies which by themselves would be like the aimless mutterings of a lunatic, but when added to the whole create a delicious slice of texture.

Bottom line, the instrumentalists are amazing, and their avant garde stylings are not for the faint of heart; yet, the songwriting is VERY far from simply being noise... this is a CACOPHONY! Pandemonium itself opens full its howling gates and lets loose this madness, which, after a genuine listen commands ones attention and reveals itself as the most perfectly crafted and enjoyable symphony of chaos.

What gives this album its longevity (and appeal beyond the initial shock of its sound), is the brilliant songwriting, which keeps a growing momentum throughout. The explosion rarely abates, but when it does it is an especially smart release in the tension, shifting gears utterly to a sonic soundscape of dark synth and effects. A brilliant balance of style and composition.

In short, In a Flesh Aquarium is a must for fans of heavy music, but especially those of the avant garde. However, as one who feels that most avant garde music is more noise than music, I can heartily recommend that those normally skittish of such madness give this one a serious listen as well. It's a one-of-a-kind explosion of creativity, intensity, and insane beauty.

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#199050) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Avant-Metal Madness.and Brilliance for the 21st century

Unexpect's _In a Flesh Aquarium_ is the album I reach for when I'm showing off the most (insert either challenging or f'd-up here) music in my collection. Because I think that despite the incredible insanity of their sound, this is indeed music, not random chaos. There are many extreme and avant bands that descend into noise, including my boyhood favorite Mr. Bungle. While Unexpect is probably more intense, more virtuosic (excepting the vocals, Patton is king of avant vox), heavier, and simply throws more into the boiling pot than Bungle, their music actually seems more composed. Envision Magma, Bungle, and Death rolled into one.

This band consists of 7 regular members and 4 guest musicians on this album. Three members contribute vocals, most prominently a female voice and a male growl voice, but there are also multiple short choral bursts in the gothic / Carmina Burana style found on Magma records. There is a permanent violinist, with 2 of the guests playing additional strings. While there are plenty of metal- flavored passages, there are also circus-swing bits, ambient sections, and even some electronica. Many of the lyrics are indecipherable but those with clarity are often graphic.

Anyone who has worked in very fast or very intense music knows that it is easy for the music to sound very much the same after a while if you're not careful. Once you've combined everything at once, what's left to bring up the intensity? Again, Unexpect navigates this well. They manage to impart each song with its own identity, and offer frequent, though brief, periods for the listener to come up for air. In fact, the album opens fairly linearly (for this band) and doesn't truly descend into the pummeling layers of over-stimulated intensity until 0:54. And as it turns out, the last 3 songs on the record are the most accessible. Smart planning.

Each of the musicians have chops to spare, and I suspect at most are formally trained in modern musical forms. This is just not music that could be pulled off by self-taught players. The interplay between the instruments is dissonant, angular, and the sounds are all over each other, but it's all very calculated and intentional. In that way, this is perhaps the proggiest of all extreme metal works. Similarly, this is music that demands your full attention, and still leaves you exhausted. You have to be in the right mood to grab this album, but nothing is going to scratch that itch like this.

Like many albums on this site, this is not for everyone. But if you have a taste for avant and metal, this may be the apex. Of all the spawn that went wriggling into the night after the roar of Mr. Bungle's appearance, Unexpect grew into the biggest monster. 5/5.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#209616) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Expect the Unexpected.

Is the title of a song from the sole Control Denied ( Death main-man Chuck Shuldiner┤s side project) album The Fragile Art Of Existence (1998) and that title fits Unexpect┤s second full-length studio album In a Flesh Aquarium like a glove.

This second album by Unexpect is female led avant garde extreme metal with lots of twist and turns, tempo and time signature changes and an integrated use of violin in the music as well as quite a few electronic elements too. While the female vocals are the most dominant vocal style on the album there are also quite a variety of growling and aggressive male vocals on the album. Nice schizophrenic mix that works wonders IMO. The songs are very complex in structure and just when you think you got a hold of where a song is going it unexpectedly changes. The music is very extreme, dissonant and at times almost eerie and unpleasant. A feeling of uncontrollable chaos ( the same feeling I get when I listen to 666 International (1999) and Supervillain Outcast (2007) by D°dheimsgard or DHG if you will). In this case this should be understood as something positive. There┤s a kind of freak show/ carnival atmosphere to the music that I find very charming and the classical chamber music elements also gives the music much of it┤s identity. There are plenty of heavy and fast guitar riffing and intense drumming on the album too, so even though this is a very progressive and rather avant garde metal album it┤s first and foremost an extreme metal album ( there are elements from both black, death and thrash metal in the music).

The album is sort of divided into two parts. The first four songs are intense and challenging progressive/ avant garde extreme metal songs but the fifth song Silence_011010701 is an electronic/ symphonic track that serves as a variation and a breather before the second part of the album begins with the sixth track Megalomaniac Trees and then into the three part suite The Shiver. The album ends with the 11:10 minute long Psychic Jugglers. There┤s not a weak moment on the album. It┤s overall a very strong album.

The musicianship is excellent. Unexpect is a seven piece band and the interplay between them is outstanding. The vocals are a real highlight among many. Le´lindel is a powerful female vocalist who masters both the angelic and the semi- operatic style to perfection. The male vocals are also really enjoyable. Very aggressive and intense.

The production is really good, but I found that the album didn┤t sound too good on my car stereo where the drums kind of drowned. It sounds much better on my home stereo equipment though.

In a Flesh Aquarium is a very challenging listen and some people will probably never find the charm in an album like this. Don┤t expect the music to be accessible. It┤s taken me many listens to fully appreciate this music. I must admit that I started out being rather skeptical about the whole thing but In a Flesh Aquarium has really grown on me to the point where I┤ve begun to view it as one of the most important progressive extreme metal albums in recent years. I had the intention of giving the album a 4 star rating but as I listened to In a Flesh Aquarium a couple of extra times in a row before writing this review it really dawned on me how unique this album is and I think I┤m gonna have to give out a deserved 5 star rating here. This is mandatory listening for fans of progressive extreme metal if you ask me. A really essential and highly recommendable album.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#220123) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 07, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I was surprised to find out this band was from Canada. I guess the simple description for these guys would be Avant-Garde Metal. The only band I really thought of while spinning this disc the last few days was SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, only UNEXPECT are 10 times more extreme and bizarre. The mood swings are from one spectrum to the other, as are the tempo changes as they stop on a dime and switch directions often.The vocals are male and female with the male growling quite often. I actually got a headache while listening to this the other day (haha). Truth is that this music is difficult for me to enjoy, it's too all over the place for my tastes. I love the bass playing, the violin and heaviness. In fact the female vocals are excellent as well, but it's just so over the top. Sure it's entertaining and very impressive, but it's just not that enjoyable to these ears. I guess i'm just not up to the challenge that this recording puts out there. Are you ? Fans only.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#220849) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 12, 2009

Review by horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars First off, I don't want to start this review by saying this is one of the most challenging pieces of music I've ever heard or how nuts the music is, but it's hard not to. I can however say this is one of the best tech/extreme metal albums I've ever heard and one of the most multi-layered pieces of music out there.

The music is very avant-garde, yes. But this is first and foremost a tech/extreme metal album. Although there are multiple genres of metal, including black, death, progressive, symphonic, and even some power metal. But there are also so many other genres that get thrown in, including folk, classical music, jazz, circus music, gypsy music, crying babies, noise, and things that almost sound like they're coming from the mouth of Mike Patton himself. I'm probably forgetting about a dozen or so genres of music, but you get the point. This is a very eclectic album. UnExpect (apparently that's how the band spells their name) is also fronted by a female vocalist, who happens to have quite a powerful, operatic voice. She is backed by two male vocalists, who range from almost gibberish-type shouting to death growls. They certainly don't make this any more accessible. And in this hour-long journey, there is little breathing room to be found, except for "Silence 011010701", and the first part of the multi-track epic called "The Shiver". Most of the time the band is content with sonically pummeling the listener, as well as multiple genre and rapid tempo changes. No riff last for more than a few seconds, but each one seems to outdo the ones that came before it. This really is some pretty remarkable music. And yes, it actually is music here, not random chaos. It took me several listens just to get over that fact, then about as many to begin to realize what was going on here.

I put this review off for so long because I wasn't sure if I'd want to give IaFA 4 or 5 stars. But this is one of the most original/chaotic/f'd up albums I've ever heard that I can't not give this 5 stars. If you like tech/extreme metal or really bizarre avant-garde music or don't like music that has any trace of accessibility, then you owe it to yourself to check UnExpect's second album out. A masterpiece of avant-garde female-fronted metal.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#223291) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 26, 2009

Review by The Pessimist
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Well I think this is a very important album to listen to, even if you end up not liking it. It is a fantastic example of how avant-garde and diverse extreme metal can get, and it's without a doubt at the top of its game. This album has many elements and styles within, all chopping and changing in the space of a few bars some of the time. But I think the most standout styles that wrap up this bizarre album are of course an everpresent sense of classical harmony and blackened death metal, all conjoined in a very avant-garde fashion, with dissonance and chromaticism being prominent compositional tools. Now in plain English: it's f*cking crazy deep, with, despite what you may hear at first listen, something for everyone. Even non-metal fans.

Now to review a few important tracks.

The albums opener should always be a good one, and Chromatic Chimeras is a fantastic one. It starts off quite gentle with some nice tinkling piano and a few vinyl scratches here and there. But that is merely temporary. A straight drum roll builds the tension and the song finally explodes into what this band is all about: complex guitar lines, choppy basslines, the tightest drumming to come out of Canada, terrific vocal parts, a VIOLIN and a piano part that knows its place. And all of this fused together with unpredictable and intricately woven arrangements and never getting dull. It pretty much sums up the entire album's ethic in 5 minutes.

The second track Feasting Fools is probably my favourite overall, plainly because I enjoy the apocalyptic melodies the vocals dish out, from the choir and Le´lindel's angelic tones. Now she is a different story: her voice is basically the thing that brings the most beauty to this music and takes it to a brand new level for me. Yes, I am a sucker for a female vocalist, but a female vocalist in metal? It makes this album a dream come true, and because she is highlighted in this song with a stunning part to play, makes this song a dream come true. Strongest on the album for me. It is also worth mentioning the accapella chanting section, for all you fans of Magma and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum out there...

Desert Urbania is another strong track, mostly for the end. It really is quite a treat all the way through, and the intro isn't too shoddy either (once again, Le´lindel is phenomenal), and is one of the most progressive moments on the album. I'm not going to spoil it for you by giving every detail, but it is well worth a listen. To some, the ending to this song is one of the band's greatest moments. I'll leave you to be the judge of that.

The Shiver suite is a great number, but I feel it is slightly weaker than the rest. However, some really great ideas are thrown in here, and I will give a quick overview. It also conatins one of my favourite moments from the album.

1. A Clown's Mindtrap: This is basically a quiet buildup to the next track, and is very nice with some gorgeous harmonies from Le´lindel. We also hear some processed beats that add a positive touch to the song. Nothing much else to mention here other than it's an atmospheric number, and the calm before the storm, so kick back while you can because it gets a lot more interesting.

2. Meet Me At The Carousel is, in essence, mental. Very extreme, very brutal in places, and very bizarre melodically and atmospherically. The most extrem and weird song on the album, this is basically where all the substance in this short suite is kept. If you are a fan of technical music, do not hesitate to play this track!

3. Another Dissonant Chord: My very favourite of the suite, and maybe the most down to earth heavy song on this opus. I suppose the reason I love it so much is that it's so operatic with the choir and male vocals playing a major part. The bass is also very nice and high pitched, which is unusual in a metal band. But the thing that makes this song for me, and probably makes the whole album worth buying on its own, is the beautiful ending. It start with a lowly violin/cello section playing some baroque-esque sequence. Then the vocals come in over the bass, and the guitars come in finally, mimicking the bass line. And do we even hear some cheeky bagpipes coming in? Yes we do. Please listen, it is utterly fantastic, and I can't express it into words effectively enough.

I think that covers my favourites, and the most important elemts in the album. As mentioned above, my personal favourite element is the female vocalist Le´lindel, as she is one of those ladies whom you instantly just fall in love with her voice. The drums are also refreshing as they are the best I've heard in a while.

The only thing I'm disappointed in is the fact that all the musicians have their places to show off throughout the songs: Le´lindel in Feasting Fools, Landryx the drummer on Summoning Scenes, Le Bateleur the violinist pretty much everywhere, Syriak and Artagoth the guitarists in almost every riff and ChaotH the bassist on the penultimate track. Yet the keyboard player ExoD has really disappointingly simple parts. He is clearly a very capable player, otherwise he wouldn't be in Unexpect, but he seems really reserved and for no reason really. Still, this fact doesn't detract from my love for the album, so I'm still giving this work 5 stars. A masterpiece and rightfully placed in the progressive metal charts.

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Send comments to The Pessimist (BETA) | Report this review (#243678) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 08, 2009

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars I am speechless about this band's musical skills but what makes them truly stand out is the great song writing! If I would try to describe the members of the band you would probably think that this kind of mix can never work, but that is of course wrong and Unexpect is here to prove it!

I believe that I had this album on my play-list for over a month before the compositions finally started to settle in which means that the music is very challenging but that's just the way I like it! It's true that the album features growl/guttural vocals which might increase the challenge even more, I know it did for me. The only advice I can give is to listen to it actively and you will be rewarded with some of the most extravagant metal albums out there.

When I heard that the Dream Theater - Progressive Nation 2009 tour would feature Unexpect as one of the supporting bands I bought the tickets to the local show without a single hesitation. After all, how often can I expect to see this little-known Canadian band here in Sweden? Unfortunately the band didn't get the live treatment they deserved by only allowing the seven band-members to use a narrow edge of the stage with second rate amplifiers and only getting allowed to play a 30 minutes gig. Truly a pity because non of the Dream Theater/Opeth fans at the venue seemed to like that short performance except of course for the awesome 9-string bass performance from the bass player ChaotH! To tell you the truth they had all the right not to enjoy it because anyone who had never heard these compositions before would find it challenging especially under the conditions I mentioned.

In a Flesh Aquarium is a solid release that might be a bit challenging for fans of the classic progressive rock-era but it's a must have for anyone who likes avant-garde metal music.

***** star songs: Chromatic Chimera (5:52) Megalomaniac Trees (5:57)

**** star songs: Feasting Fools (6:17) Desert Urbania (7:29) Summoning Scenes (7:46) Silence_011010701 (5:13) Another Dissonant Chord (3:00) Meet Me At The Carrousel (4:07) A Clown's Mindtrap (3:41) Psychic Jugglers (11:10)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#262949) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Twisted carnival avant-garde metal mania is the specialty here. The name of the band is perhaps fair warning, as they showcase a wild degree of individual ability but work out some of the busiest and most hurried compositions I've ever heard, all characterized by haphazard changes. With the wild female vocals flying all over the place like a banshee, In a Flesh Aquarium may very well appeal to those musical masochists who call themselves Koenjihyakkei fans. I found myself pausing the music after almost each track just to afford myself a breather and ensure I didn't get a headache. Lovers of incoherent extremeness and sonic chaos will find a funhouse in this one- a roller coaster from hell with broken tracks and perilous turns.

"Chromatic Chimera" Dissonant and madness-inducing, the first track demonstrates the band's penchant for quick shifts and discord. Just when I felt I had a handle on the direction of a given passage, the band takes a sharp turn and the track becomes something completely different. The barking and growling clash with whatever everyone else is doing, and the musicians clash with each other. However, the bass and violin pairing (slapping and popping on the former, cheerful notes on the latter) make for excellent terse interludes.

"Feasting Fools" More frantic, seemingly nonsensical mayhem ensues, with jarring rhythms, copious amounts of thrash guitar, double bass drumming, and frenzied vocals. Unexpectedly, there's a dark chant in the middle, followed by more theatrical vocals.

"Desert Urbania" Light piano provides a brief respite before a barrage of growling and sputtering drums accost the hearer. It adopts a dark cabaret visage when it isn't in onslaught mode.

"Summoning Scenes" Biting disarray is this time juxtaposed with calm guitar and violin passages, providing a much-needed lull.

"Silence_011010701" Spooky, alarm-like strings screech and wail in the beginning of this bizarre, atmospheric piece. Delicate keyboards rise up with a snare, electronic drumming, and an orchestral sound to create something relaxing and actually enjoyable.

"Megalomaniac Trees" After the pit stop, it's back to the hellish circus of sudden tempo-changes and auditory pummeling. There is a wonderful riff that stays consistent for a while, and a sweet violin soars above it. It's one of the better songs for me, anyway.

"The Shiver - Another Dissonant Chord" The only other delicate moment of the album, this features eerie keyboards, deep, rumbling bass, and light vocals.

"The Shiver - Meet Me At The Carrousel" By this point, the exhaustion of the album sets in, and it's difficult to tell this apart from the other nonsensical blasts of sound that permeate the album.

"The Shiver - A Clown's Mindtrap" The final part of this tripartite song is less difficult to follow, but still not easy to swallow. The tone of what sounds like a bagpipe concludes it.

"Psychic Jugglers" Barking and jumbled business flails all over the place. At eleven minutes, it's almost nauseating.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#283577) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is some great modern proggy metal. A year or two ago I was going thru the streaming songs on PA to look for music I would like but haven't yet heard. Besides some metal bands I was already familiar with, the only metal song that caught my attention was "Psychic Jugglers". I loved it. I had to hear this album. I still haven't heard their first album, but In A Flesh Aquarium was right up my alley. This sounds like a cross between Mr. Bungle, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and System Of A Down. Since I like all three groups this was a bonus to me.

The band members have names like Artagoth, ChaotH and ExoD. Cool. You get your typical guitars/bass/drums mixed with some keyboards and violin. There are both male and female vocals. The male vocals are generally of the growling/grunting variety, while the female vocals are, uh, more 'normal' I guess. The music is usually heavy and unpredictable. Sometimes there is a circus/carnival feel to it. Once in awhile there is some jazz, classical or trippy synth parts.

The three-part "Shiver" is all good, but my favourite part is "Meet Me At The Carrousel". I like the slowed down piano at the end of "Desert Urbania". "Silence_011010701" is the mellowest part of the album. It's an instrumental and is one of the best parts on the album. I like the Aphex Twin-style programmed beats at the end. I still think that the last and longest song "Psychic Jugglers" is the best one here. Lots going on in this one. It's hard to describe the individual songs because they keep changing so often.

If it wasn't for the piano, violin, synths and female vocals I don't think I would like this half as much. I like the overall unpredictability of the music here; none of that verse/chorus/solo stuff. I wish more metal that gets labelled 'prog' sounded like this. I also wish these guys would put out another album already. Apparently they are touring right now. One of these days I'm gonna have to hear their first one too...but I doubt I will like it as much as this one. Highly recommended to fans of Bungle, Sleepytime and SOAD. 4 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#308087) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'In A Flesh Aquarium' - uneXpect (9/10)

Among all of my musical travels, I have not quite come across either a band quite like uneXpect (sic) or an album quite like their sophomore 'In A Flesh Aquarium'. They have a weird, nightmarish sound that has since become my quickest association whenever I hear the term 'avant-garde metal' being passed about. One part technical, one part dramatic, and ten to twenty parts weird, uneXpect creates a record with 'In A Flesh Aquarium' that is incredibly fun, yet also one of the most challenging records I have ever heard. A lasting contradiction in virtually every way, the fact alone that uneXpect leaves this reviewer at a loss for words should be testament enough to its quality. A sheer masterpiece in originality and exploration of chaos, 'In A Flesh Aquarium' is an unforgettable experience, for better or worse.

When attempting to describe the music here, labels truly elude. Is it thrash metal? Death metal, symphonic metal, even industrial metal in parts? Even the somewhat pedestrian term 'clown metal' seeks to explain the strange, yet utterly distinctive style that uneXpect plays, but I think the best way to discuss the music of this enigmatic ensemble would be to simply call their music 'avant-garde metal', in every sense of the word. There is not a track or minute that goes by that won't raise the eyebrow of even an adventurous listener on his first time through. Jazzy, pummeling bass licks and gypsy-tinged violins make up the highlight of this band's sound, but for the most part, the music is driven by an eclectic range of metal guitar styles, going from the rapid pacing of thrash chugging, to atonal jazz leads to higher register riffs and even some black metal sounds. The vocals are even more diverse, with both male and female clean singing through and harmonizing, and a host of different 'unclean' growlers rasping their way through some incredibly surreal and nonsensical lyrics.

The tone of the album is very dark throughout, but it is done in a playful way. In this sense, 'In A Flesh Aquarium' is much like a cult classic comedy; suited only for very specific tastes, but the tastes it does adhere to will be certain to blow some minds. Each track here maintains the same playfully malefic vibe to it, but different things are employed in each. 'Feasting Fools' is a highly thrash oriented tune, whereas the most memorable and unsettling piece 'Desert Urbania' is a piece of dark metal with roots placed in dramatic theater and gypsy music. Lastly, the epic 'Psychic Jugglers' could easily be seen as an orchestral piiece set to some twisted theatrical work for stage, making little narrative sense through the poetic yet somewhat overindulgent lyrics, but piecing dramatic effect together through the musical intensity. One issue that robs 'In A Flesh Aquarium' of its seeming inhuman perfection though is the general lack of inconsistency throughout some of the tracks here. Especially during the three part suite 'The Shiver', the music feels as if it loses some of the same majesty it first had with the first three pieces that opened up this album. Despite not being entirely mind blowing and brilliant throughout though, the sheer brilliance and unbelievable quality of the album's majority make it an undeniable masterpiece in my eye.

Make no mistake; 'In A Flesh Aquarium' is not an album for everyone, and many will find themselves turned off by the wickedly bombastic and strange direction of this crazy band. Dare to explore somewhat far into this mad realm however, and one might find some beautiful insanity waiting for them.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#455027) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "...miiicroscopic DUST!"

Your worst nightmare. Brought to you courtesy of Leilindel and Messrs. SyriaK, Artagoth, ExoD, Le Bateleur, ChaotH and Landryx.

The Good: The first time I listened to this album I was blown away. The second time I listened I was indifferent. Then it lay on my shelf for a while gathering dust before I decided to give it another go after seeing these guys at Progressive Nation 2009. Two years later, after countless listens, I now consider it to be somewhere between excellent and a fully-fledged masterpiece.

Whilst there are lots of bands out their that try to make their compositions as 'mental' as humanly possible, a lot of them lack substance and just devolve into an unintelligible mess. Unexpect on the other hand successfully manage to blend crazy with coherent and intricate with interesting. Whilst it does take patience and concentration to fully appreciate, it's also well worth the effort.

In a Flesh Aquarium plays host to a whole menagerie of genres including death, thrash and prog metal, classical, opera, ambient, jazz, electro and gypsy music, somehow all blended together into sixty minutes of sheer musical panic. Despite all the brilliant moments of madness found throughout the album, for me the standout track is the intensely dark and ambient interlude, Silence 011010701.

The Bad: Definitely won't be everyone's couple of tea.

The Verdict: Mr. Bungle on acid.

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Send comments to Starhammer (BETA) | Report this review (#457981) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars uneXpect's In a Flesh Aquarium is even harder to review than the most avant-garde works of Mr Bungle and Frank Zappa (the two primary influences on their music that I can detect). As with Henry Cow's In Praise of Learning, the band's dedication to experimentalism above all other considerations has resulted in an album which is highly inaccessible - and whilst some listeners may find the effort to penetrates its mysteries to be a rewarding one, others may feel that it's too much effort for too little benefit. In short, this is one of those albums where you really shouldn't pay attention to any reviews: track down some samples and listen to them, you'll know if you want to explore further.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#708556) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012

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5 stars An extremely rewarding extreme metal album.;) I read many positive things about the second full length studio release of these Canadian musicians, which seems to be their breakthrough before purchasing it. At first listening I found most parts of In a Flesh Aquarium rather annoying, but the key ... (read more)

Report this review (#269669) | Posted by Norbert | Friday, March 05, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Finally! This is the album I┤ve been looking for. For over half a decade I┤ve been going thru this site in search of music that could offer me more... And now I┤m quite certain that I┤ve found the ultimate band. unexpecT offer here on their second studio album the craziest, most chaotic and mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#265843) | Posted by I Love Internet | Saturday, February 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Dans Un Aquarium de Chair (In French) Well, this is my first review on PA and English is my second language... But let's talk about uneXpect. Post-Humans circus freaks eating cyberpunks in outer-negated-conscience is what they are as musicians... An avant-garde taste of psycho-metallic ramp ... (read more)

Report this review (#200184) | Posted by FroSniTe | Thursday, January 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Masterpiece !!! They're brilliant ! This album has such mix of styles, instruments and vocals that it just blew my mind away. The album is quite complex, so you'll need time to understand them, but that time is worth it. Their music is very saturated and I personally can listen to them again ... (read more)

Report this review (#173516) | Posted by Svjat | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars the main word i would use to describe this album(and they'er music) would be unnecessary heres a band, that definatly have talent, they can definatly play they'er instruments to a very hugh standard, yet they dont seem to know when is enough and what sounds 'toooo much' they sound very infl ... (read more)

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5 stars Gorgeous, brilliant, technical.... Mind F*ck. all words that come to mind while this album is playing. The complexity and musical styles used are overwhelming and combine to make a dizzying array of sounds. Dissonant chaos to soothing female vocals looped over a string arrangement ALA the rena ... (read more)

Report this review (#160323) | Posted by shentile | Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think this album is almost too weird (but not exactly very original), even wannabe, alternative, and maybe somehow boring, shuffling it all round and round. Avant-garde seems to be somehow popular, but this definitely has enough massive elements of avant-garde metal, avant-garde and for example ... (read more)

Report this review (#142461) | Posted by progressive | Saturday, October 06, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Maximalistic Metal, Carnival Style. Trying to describe uneXpect in a short review is more than a daunting task, considering the fact that uneXpect as a whole are nearly indescribable, in that no simple definition does them justice, in any sense. Certainly metal, but without the doom and gloo ... (read more)

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5 stars I stumbled upon this band in a random iTunes excursion, and I think that I have found a true gem of music. I have listened to this album for a few months now and can safely say that-get ready- i love it. I don't understand too many of the vocals, but in this case, I feel it is ok. This music ... (read more)

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5 stars Chaotic, yet awesome. Yes, if I were given only one word to describe this album, chaotic would suit it best. This album really sounds like a mix of everything, from classic music, all sorts of metal styles, avant-garde, and of course, progressive elements. With a number of changes in the li ... (read more)

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5 stars I like my eggs boiled and that's it. Yes that is a quote from some of the wackiest lyrics I have tried (and failed) to read successfully. They are completely insane. Completely. And what better to match these lyrics but with crazy avant garde prog metal? And what else would you expect from a ... (read more)

Report this review (#116906) | Posted by progismylife | Friday, March 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've wasted many of my valuable votes by not writing reviews, so here's my first. After renewing my taste for the heavier side of music, I was searching for interesting "new" bands to try out. Mainly by Google-ing for Death Metal top 10s and such. The name Unexpect came at me from many sides. ... (read more)

Report this review (#116606) | Posted by lurkist | Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One word to summarize this album : Evolution. These guys are doing something that has never been seen before and we don't get to see that very often nowadays. Chaotic and beautiful at the same time, it is never boring. You will need many listens before "getting it". But once you do, it will se ... (read more)

Report this review (#101254) | Posted by April_Ethereal | Friday, December 01, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If I had to summarize this album in one sentence (I don't have to and am, in fact, encouraged to do so in as many sentences as possible; however, this seems like an appropriate place to start such a review, so here goes:) If I had to summarize this album in one sentence, it would be: "This album ... (read more)

Report this review (#101190) | Posted by epifreak | Friday, December 01, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This band is crazy, I think its a must in the "avant-garde" field. Each songs have their own expression, its a pure pleasure to sit down and listen to their unexpected music. If you like weird and experimental music, you CAN'T dislike this band for sure! A must !!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#94382) | Posted by Yann | Friday, October 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, since I was one of the very strong proposers of this band's inclusion in the PA due to this album, I might as well give some reasons for that. After a series of startiling reviews, naming Unexpect's newest output "the new La Masquerade Infernale", "a new standard in avant-garde" how could o ... (read more)

Report this review (#93687) | Posted by Asphalt | Saturday, October 07, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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