Monday, October 25, 2010

Unearthly Trance: V (2010)


New York sludge/doomsters Unearthly Trance released their fifth full-length last month. Approrpiately, it's called V.

They're a Relapse artist, and Relapse isn't exactly known for doom metal. But it is known for sludge, and for experimental artists, and that's exactly what you'll find here. The band name is perfect, as their compositions seem to be built around simple riffs designed to put you into a trance state, with other sounds building atmosphere and lots of interesting lead guitar coming in as the songs progress. Discordant notes are used beautifully in both rhythm and lead sections. The vocals are nothing to write home about, but they're not bad either.

It seems aimed more at audiophiles than riff-heads. Normally I consider myself a member of the latter camp, but this album works for me anyway. As a rule, the longer tracks (6 or 7 minutes) are the better ones, because they have time to fully explore the trance-inducing riffs, but the shorter tracks are necessary to the album as a whole. It also seems like the songs get better as you get further into the album, but I suspect that's because you come to understand their songwriting better the longer you listen. Overall, the highlight is probably "Into a Chasm", but nothing on here is waste.

In a way, this is like an alternate-reality version of Isis, if they had taken the sludge/doom of their early releases and gone in a darker direction with it. But to be sure, no one will mistake Unearthly Trance for a post-metal band.

The Verdict: This is awesome sludge/doom built on atmosphere and atonality, designed to be listened to in the dark, with the volume turned all the way up. And it works. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds pretty good, I am not familiar with this band but may have to check them out. I've heard of them, just never checked them out.