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Unexpect - In A Flesh Aquarium CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.16 | 265 ratings

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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 gloom mentality, and yet, incredibly dark and weird. Many different types of metal manifest themselves in their uneXpects, music, and yet neither does it fit into any of those genres. There are growls, shrieks, screams and clean vocals, intense double bass, frenetic snares, chugging riffs, popping and even funky bass, frantic and oddly timed Piano and Keyboards, wonderful violin work, all wrapped into an avantgarde styling with no small amount of zaniness and humor as a creepy bow.

Many comparison's can, and inevitably will be drawn to the band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Now, there are some obvious parelells between the two, namely the contrast of aggressive male vocals and softer female vocals, the odd time signatures and compositions, the weirdness and the violin. However, there line is really drawn there, uneXpect is much heavier, faster and agressive. The liberal use of keys and piano are a wonderful touch, and the obvious extreme metal influences are much more prevelant than in SGM. Certainly a unique musical monster on it's own, uneXpect push the boundries of metal as it's currently thought.

In a Flesh Aquarium is certainly a weird musical experience. While their first album seemed like little more than typical extreme metal with the occasional female vocal burst, and probably not worth a second listen or glance. But with In a Flesh Aquarium (and in reality, Novae as well) uneXpect make a musical U-Turn and come out completely different than I would have thought, considering their first release. A refreshing and unique album that quickly became a frequent listen on my iPod, and one that will continue to keep it's place among my favorites.

The album's beginning is dangerously misleading, as a quiet Violin/Piano piece, but quickly evolves (Or degrades, depending on your tastes) into a spastic and almost scary metal oriented song. Enjoy the soft spots while you can, they allow you to take a quick breather before it blasts you into another torrential downpour of extreme metal. However, the obvious difference between your average extreme metal and this becomes apparent quickly. The bass is active, audible and awesome, and some nice work begins on the violin and piano, adding a nice layer usually unheard of in this type of metal. (A note: the piano, at times, reminds me of teh Japanese Zheul band Koenjiyhyakkei) The vocals run the gauntlet of screams, shrieks, growls and clean, with the female vocals as a contrast. However, and this is more personal than anything else, the female vocals are very rarely operatic, and showcase more styles of vocals than the typical female vocals in metal, Kudos.

The meat of the music, which is obviously metal, has something that any metal head can enjoy, intense, fast and complex guitars, with the subsequent fierce drumming. The chugging riffs, and heavy distortion will make most metal heads smile, and is what makes this band so intense. The prevelant use of double bass makes for a heart pounding feel, and the sporadic snares and cymbals create an almost nervous feel. The music is generally fast, but is sparsely peppered with slow downs and softer passages. But don't be mislead, these passages are rarely soothing, in fact, though they may be softer, they are usually the most confusing and weird parts of the music, so really, there is nowhere to hide in this album.

With no filler tracks, and none that stand out as weak, this is an incredibly unique and refreshing release, sure to be welcome in any adventurous listeners repetoire. Again, obviously not for everyone, but if you are looking for something other than the typical in Progressive Metal, or even Prog as whole, this is definately worth your while.

5 Stars

Drakk | 5/5 |


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