Along with metalcore at large at the turn of the millennium, Unearth moved from playing basements and dingy bars and onto MTV. Given the state of the music industry’s current climate, it’s hard to believe that happened once upon a time.
On their sixth album, ‘Extinction(s)’, and in their twentieth year as a band, they’re showing no signs of slowing down, presenting an approach with no frills, and cutting through the bullshit with a hacksaw.
When they’ve got the help of Will Putney behind the mixing desk, you can certainly expect an impassioned, no-holds-barred record. Putney seems to be the go-to producer for heavy music at the minute, with bands such as Pig Destroyer, Vein, and Thy Art Is Murder all teaming up with him recently to capture their ferocity.
‘Incinerate’ gets us straight into gear with its menacing groove and savage breakdowns, and there’s some impressive sweeping guitar going on as well, which shows that this isn’t just any old metallic hardcore record. The record continues in a similar vein for most of its runtime, yet it never loses its potency.
‘Cultivation Of Infection’ has a smart use of atmosphere at the beginning along with just before the breakdown happens, and ‘The Hunt Begins’ has a relatively more chilled-out section where the bass is allowed a bit more time in the limelight.
There’s also a socially conscious lyrical narrative on show, which a lot of bands have tapped into recently with varying results, but the message here is straight-up and believable, which is usually the best approach to take with lyric writing.
‘Sidewinder’ helps to bring the aggro, and ‘No Reprisal’ makes further use of the more noodly guitar playing, with some tasty dual-guitar work going on, as well as the very welcome blast-beat section which shows that there’s more even more depth lurking beneath the surface.
Closer ‘One With The Sun’ is probably the best cut on here, with an immediate posi-vibe bounce on display which contrasts with the somewhat sombre outro.
This isn’t particularly ground-breaking or reinventing the wheel, and it rarely strays away from what one would normally expect from a metallic hardcore record. But, if you’re looking for that with an Unearth record, or any similar band, then you’ve frankly come to the wrong place.
‘Extinction(s)’ is a record that gives no fucks, and is made for a sweaty venue with moshing and flailing fists aplenty.