Since forming in 1998, Massachusetts metalcore powerhouse Unearth have battled through tumultuous line-up changes, succeeding every time to continue releasing some of the best music in the metalcore scene we’ve seen. Vocalist Trevor Phipps, lead guitarist Buz Mcgrath and rhythm guitarist Ken Susi have remained with the band since the beginning, forming a close bond and finetuning their collective musical abilities over the last two decades. Taking up the sticks on drums since 2012 is Nick Pierce, while on bass since 2014 is Chris O’Toole; both additions have proven to bring a fresh edge to the band’s sound, making Unearth more powerful than ever.
With the release of the insanely aggressive and technical “Watchers of Rule” four years ago, fans have been rabidly awaiting the arrival of some crushing new tunes from Unearth – and holy hell, our wishes have been all but obliterated by the release of their latest album called “Extinction(s)”, out on the 23rd of November this year. Having already released the opening track “Incinerate” in July and their third track called “Survivalist” in September as singles, we’ve already been given but a glimpse of the brutality in store for us. Overdrive magazine was gifted with a copy to listen to from Century Media, and we came away thoroughly Impressed by the heaving beast that is “Extinction(s)”. Here is a low-down of the most impressive tracks from the album.
Beginning the album with a lyrical sense of unity and motivation to make the world a better place, “Incinerate” catapults a white-hot ball of metal straight into your face. This song is bursting with a tremendous fury, boasting elements of the sound they took on during “Darkness in the Light” (2011) and “The March” and the unrelenting ferocity of “The Oncoming Storm”, this song sets the bar incredibly high.
From here on out, the album does not relinquish its death-grip on your throat until the very last second, leaving you gasping for air and clutching your neck – like any good metal album should.
“Survivalist”, the second single for the album, has a foreboding feel to it. With low-tuned chugging guitars and a violent sense of urgency behind the lyrics and riffs Unearth combined the darkest, meatiest parts of their sound to create a dark monster of a tack.
“Cultivation of Infection” has quiet and creepy intro before unexpectedly leaping full-swing into one hell of a heavy groove. Pierce’s double kicks rule the verses and chorus while Phipps interchanges his rough cleans with screams to provide some quality vocals for this absolute banger.
Mcgrath and Susi take advantage of using the occasional pick-scrape to great effect during “The Hunt Begins”. This song is relentlessly technical and fast-paced, giving each musician leagues of space to showcase the extent of both their musical roots and their progression in the last 4 years since “Watchers of Rule”
“Hard Lined Downfall” is one of the heaviest songs on “Extinction(s), with an almost Slipknot-like vibe to it at times, but never to the detriment of either band. This track features an absolutely crushing breakdown towards the end, perfectly bringing the violent insanity to its climax.
A dirty, gritty guitar riff opens the brutal “Sidewinder”, as Unearth delve headfirst into wild blast beats and burgeoning screams to make for one hell of a moshpit-worthy song.
Bringing the album to its close is the absolutely fucking fantastic “One With the Sun”, with Pierce’s drumming driving the track into an utter chaos of spidery guitar licks and ferocious vocals set to an electrifying tempo. “One With the Sun” takes an emotional turn around the 3 minute mark, with a strings arrangement behind the earnest guitars and drumming before the song finishes on a gentle note that belies the intensity of the preceding songs.
All I can say on the behalf of Overdrive is… Wow. I was expecting great things from Unearth after their last album, but the extent of cohesion, heaviness and sheer expertise was still a wonderful experience from an equally delightful band. Unearth have delivered more than their collective weight in gold with “Extinction(s)”; I’m absolutely certain that fans around the world will have nothing but praise. Want to listen for yourself? You’ll have to wait until the 23rd of November; but in the meantime, pre-order a CD or LP for yourself HERE