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Unexpect - _wE, Invaders CD (album) cover

_WE, INVADERS

Unexpect

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.51 | 32 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars '_wE, Invaders' - uneXpect (6/10)

Although 'Utopia' was the official beginning of this crazy Quebecois metal project, '_wE, Invaders' is the first time we get to hear the most recognizable incarnation of the band. While 'Utopia' was full of promise, weirdness, and bright potential, there were flaws in the execution that set it apart from the latter work, as well as a different lineup than the one we know today. As brief as this mini-album is, '_wE, Invaders' is an important mark in the development of this band; a stepping stone for their more involving work to come.

'_wE, Invaders' is a four track effort, with one song being a re-recording of a track from 'Utopia', and another that would eventually become fleshed out into a track from the band's magnum opus, 'In A Flesh Aquarium'. In almost every respect, uneXpect have tuned up their act and delivery; that's not to say that 'Utopia' was shabby by any mark, but over the years in between, uneXpect have fermented into a truly excellent band. The sound- as one might expect- is a bridge between the more traditional blend of metal on 'Utopia', to the who- knows-what of 'Flesh Aquarium'. As far as EPs in general are concerned, '_wE, Invaders' stands out for its depth as a listen. Despite only working with four tracks, much of the sound is dense and chaotic, with various vocal gurgles often fighting to lead the band onward. Violins are an important aspect of uneXpect's sound as always.

As far as the songwriting goes, 'In Velvet Coffins We Slept' is undoubtedly the album's highlight. A song that I first heard on 'Utopia', uneXpect gives their classic track a new once- over, with a sense of production and tighter performance more fitting of such a complex composition. The band shows many of their dimensions here, going from melodic black metal sounds to a brittle folk interlude, all within the course of one mini-epic. 'Novae' and 'Rooted Shadows' are more typical uneXpect tracks, with 'typical' meaning 'strange' and 'insane' in this case. All the same, for their weirdness, they are not too surprising to hear, and don't tread outside of the band's comfort zone, save for a few experiments with electronics. Lastly, the EP closes with a piano rendition of the song 'Chromatic Chimaera', a piece that many fans will more likely associate as the opening track on 'In A Flesh Aquarium'. Truly, it only feels like a shadow of the latter version. Despite being a quirky and technically accomplished piano composition, it lacks the dynamic and depth that I feel the full-band version would later bring to the table.

'_wE, Invaders' is certainly a worthy listen for any fan of Canada's avant-metal darlings, although it feels dwarfed by the band's full-length material, including their debut 'Utopia'. All the same, it is a necessary piece of the band's development into the jaw-dropping act they are today.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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