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CD Review: Unearth – The Oncoming Storm

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What’s the 4-1-1?
Spawned from heavy music’s breeding ground of Massachusetts, the 2004 release of this album saw record breaking sales in the area more than 120,000 for Metal Blade Records. The Oncoming Storm has been given the special edition treatment for 2005 with two bonus tracks.

Genre
Heavy metal / hardcore / death metal

The Good
Rapid-fire drum beats and lighting quick guitar riffage come at you with unstoppable force on “The Great Dividers.” Trevor Phipps is a blood-curling madman on the microphone as he spews about the ravages of world conquest. The guitar work is even faster and sharper on “Failure.” It’s nice to know there are still bands that offer scathing twin guitar attacks. Drummer Mike Justin does a great job with the emotional changes of the song: from frantic to subdued. Who would have thought Unearth was the type of band that was environmentally conscious? “Black Heart Now Reign” sums up how we are destroying the Earth and sets it to a thunderous soundtrack that may signal Armageddon.

“Zombie Autopilot” is laden with some of the best dual guitar work that reminded me of early Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Anger, fury and rage can all be used as the emotions tested on “Endless.” The instrumentation from the group is simply punishing and compliments the lyrical content. This particular release comes with two bonus tracks from Unearth’s previous indie albums One Step Away and The Charm. It’s no surprise that they’re just as heavy.

The Bad

Nothing notable

The Verdict
You have to really understand hardcore and death metal to really appreciate it. You have to really understand what it’s all about and what it’s supposed to sound like. I like to think that over the years I’ve come to a greater understanding for these genres. I used to dismiss a lot of them because I enjoy melodic vocals, and let’s face it, most of the vocals for this genre are screaming at the top of your lungs.

I now understand that stuff like that is what defines the genre. Oncoming Storm is everything you’ve come to expect from the hardcore/death metal band. It’s loud, intense, powerful, and full of monstrous riffs. You may want to take cover from The Oncoming Storm because its aftermath is just devastating.

Did You Know?
Unearth formed in 1998.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Originally posted by author at Rock-Is-Life.com

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About George Dionne