Unearth
The March


4.0
excellent

Review

by Damrod EMERITUS
October 8th, 2008 | 187 replies | 32,101 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent effort by Unearth, going further on the road leading from the dead-end called "metalcore"

Some things are as sure as the amen in church. You just know how certain things are, and what to expect from them. As it seems, Unearth fit in there quite well. If you can count on one thing with this lot, then that they do the things they start right and straight forward. And it's the same with their newest album, and it might possibly be the best thing they have written so far. First things first though, so let us go through this step by step.

It's been about two years since Unearth's last studio output 'III: In The Eyes Of Fire' . Along with producer Terry Date the band ventured into more thrashy regions of their sound, and although this fitted the development of their own sound quite well, something still felt amiss. Overall the album fell behind the others the band presented so far. With Killswitch Engage-guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz back on the producer's seat, the quintett from Boston wants to set this right with their winning team. After all, Dutkiewicz produced almost all of their albums to date.

Current interviews with the band give a clear impression what the main topic of all the songs is on 'The March': living on the end of what modern capitalism brought us today. This does not mean that this is a concept record in the classic sense, but the stress is definately on what the aftermath of the current economic events worldwide could be - all presented in a destructive and pessimistic, as well as a hopefull and optimistic view. As usual all this is presented by vocalist Trevor Phipps, who does a routine like job. The shouting is not very diverse, but most people would have expected that anyway. Some of the songs feature almost spoken parts and gang shouts that give some change in the vocal area. Very good example of the former is the chorus to 'Hail The Shrine', which has a very fluid transition from spoken to shouted vocals. Overall a very good performance, which only real shortcoming is the lack of variety.

In very strong contrast to this are the guitar lines of Buz McGrath and Ken Susi. From the first seconds of the opener 'My Will Be Done' the make clear what to expect: a low and chugging riff below a sometimes doubled tapping melody speak for their own, if not the solo later on in this song should clear everything up guitar-wise. One could name quite a few examples, but in a nutshell: they hrow everything at you they have to offer. The rythm-section with bassist John "Slo" Maggard and drummer Derek Kerswill pushes the whole thing forward relentlessly. Accents set by the drums are placed well and are nice to hear, but when compared to other bands, this part just falls behind. On the other hand, with the guitars all over tha place, it would not help the songs if the drums and bass would do the same. So in the end, this works better the way it is.

Where there is light, there is at least a little shadow somewhere. And it's not different with this record. What one will notice after a few spins is that quite a few of the songs start very similar. They are not absolutely identical but already similar enough that it is noticed in a bad way. Good examples for this are 'Hail The Shrine', 'We Are Not Anonymous', 'The March' or 'Letting Go'. The rythm and emphasis are just too much of the same to work well so many times. As the songs themselves have a lot to offer, it's strange that they they trimmed the bginnings of the songs so much down. Overall the songs display good songwriting and leave a thought through impression. Good example for this is 'We Are Not Anonymous', which can be streamed on the bands MySpace page for a while now.

One thing this record displays very clearly: Unearth succesfully work on a transition from the fading genre metalcore to something more relevant. 'The March' displays a clear metal edge opposed to the more metalcore-based sound of former days. Sure, there are still some breakdown-like passages and the obvious mosh parts, overall the songs show a clear and developing style though. This album is modern metal that has most, if not all you could wish for: relentless riffs moving forward, taking turns with hymn like melodies, raspy vocals and crazy guitar work finding their way straight to your head, where something might be missing on one end, it is made up for that on other spots ten fold. To sum it, this is probably the best the band has put ou so far, and will probably be the new reference for their upcoming work. If this can be pushed even more with the next release is to be seen, but until then one can have a good time with 'The March'.



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user ratings (613)
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other reviews of this album
Devin Earl (4)
Hail The Shrine!!!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Damrod
Moderator
October 8th 2008



1093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some might say this review and the rating are a bit over the top, but to my defense: I am not really the metal guy, and it is not often that an album with such a clear metal edge astonishes me the way this one did and does.

So go easy on me! :P

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2008



17204 Comments


I enjoyed this a lot. Unearth always seems to impress me.

marksellsuswallets
October 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Honestly...I really don't like this all that much...maybe I just haven't listened all that closely but it seems overtly repetitive...This Message Edited On 10.08.08

DFelon204409
Emeritus
October 8th 2008



3995 Comments


Could you get rid of all the bolding? It looks pretty ridiculous.

Platonism
October 8th 2008



168 Comments


More BOLDNESS!

Essence
October 8th 2008



3583 Comments


Nick, Don't you know? Bolding is the cool thing to do.

botb
October 8th 2008



9630 Comments


awesome album, great review.

Thor
October 8th 2008



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Bold the entire review!

Great job though. Looks like I don't really need to review this now because you covered most of my opinions on this.

P13
October 8th 2008



1327 Comments


b]'Hail The Shrine'[/b],

you missed a bold

AP07373
October 8th 2008



493 Comments


I like Unearth. I like your review. As far as metalcore goes...I don't know how people can think that Underoath is good metalcore when Unearth is still putting out albums.

marksellsuswallets
October 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They are entirely different bands...

Essence
October 8th 2008



3583 Comments


They really, really are.

botb
October 8th 2008



9630 Comments


yeah i agree. underoath is more along the melodic hardcore sound imo though. but they both rule.

AP07373
October 8th 2008



493 Comments


"They are entirely different bands..."
Well yea...one of them is good and the other is bland. But your statement is the perfect example of why "metalcore" is the worst defined genre in music. Two "entirely different bands" in the same genre...


AngelPhoenix
October 8th 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slick review man, I agree with most of what you said except I think the power and intensity of III gives it the edge over this. It's still really awesome though, and I've liked it much more on listens 5 and 6 then on listens 1 and 2.

morjens
October 8th 2008



207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album, LOVE this album. All the tracks are great and memorable. A really fun listen and one of my favorite releases this year! the review is great aswell.

Bleak123
October 8th 2008



1902 Comments


Can't wait to give this a proper listen. Good review man!This Message Edited On 10.08.08

chewytapeworm
October 8th 2008



492 Comments


What a great band! Unearth just get better and better with age!

Can't wait to get this album! Nice review, it's given me extra impetus to get it.


Tyler
Emeritus
October 8th 2008



7926 Comments


hey cool thanks for stealing my dibs

AP07373
October 8th 2008



493 Comments


Sometimes it's nice to read a metal review that is written by someone that doesn't think they are God's gift to Metal reviews.
I'm probably going to go pick this up after work today now that I've read this.



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