Unter Null
Moving On


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
February 24th, 2010 | 132 replies | 19,340 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Erica Dunham is moving on but not before leaving fans with one final dose of electronic aggression - this time with a twist.

Unter Null is the vision of Erica Dunham – a classically trained pianist that happens to also have a penchant for the harsher side of music. More specifically, she seems to have an affinity for dissonant electronic music that melds harsh effects, pulsating synths, pounding beats, and distorted vocals – a combination that she has consistently delivered for almost a decade through Unter Null. Considering her musical background, though, it was inevitable that she was eventually going to tire of delivering music with such a limited scope, and that is what finally happened. A few years back she announced that Unter Null had one album left before being officially retired, but a fire destroyed the master recordings before they ever saw the light of day. At that point she could have been forgiven for simply giving up on a project that she had already outgrown, but she persisted and the result is the aptly titled Moving On.

Moving On is a typical Unter Null album at heart, but it’s something more than that as well. It’s a varied and dynamic album that takes the band’s core elements and melds them with a prominent use of melody, catchier songwriting and a fuller sound overall. This expanded musical pallet has helped to create a very diverse album that manages to break from the occasionally uniform nature of her previous releases. It has also given Erica the vessel necessary to express more than anger through her music. So, while there are tracks such as the gabber/black metal hybrid of “Visceral, Venom of My Being” there are also songs such as “Godless” to contrast with that. In fact, the tracks that do more than simply bludgeon the listener are easily in the majority on this album. These songs may feature elements from previous albums such as distorted vocals or pounding club beats, but they’re going to be augmented by lush melodies, clean singing, and dynamic shifts in tempo and volume.

Quite simply, buried beneath the electronics and distorted vocals of each track lies the soul of a pop song, and I mean that in the best way possible. It means that despite the harsh vocals and cold atmosphere of a track such as “Moving On”, there is still a palpable emotional connection created, as well as memorable hooks that will stick with you. This pop undercurrent even manages to bleed into the more dissonant tracks such as “Broken Heart Cliché” with its memorable chorus and subtle melodic nuances. The result is an album that should still contain enough visceral anger to appease old fans, but is also a significant step forward musically. Moving On is the culmination of everything that Unter Null could be without losing its original identity. It’s the rhythmic beats, focused anger and cold electronics that they’ve always been known for – no doubt about it – but it’s also strong hooks, lush melodies, and a wider array of moods than ever before.

Erica Dunham has really accomplished two significant things with this album. The first, and most important, is that she has released an album that she can be proud of and that leaves the Unter Null legacy firmly in tact. The second, probably unintended, accomplishment is that she has proven that it really was time for her to move on in order to fully realize her musical vision without any genre limitations. Until she does move into the next phase of her musical career, though, we’re left with this final Unter Null album. An album that keeps the core elements in tact, but also does so much more by allowing the songs to become a little soft around the edges; to display that there is more than anger and aggression under those cold electronics and mechanical beats.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 24th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I was definitely surprised by this. I honestly expected this to kind of be more of the same since she really didn't want to make this kind of music anymore...

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2010



30882 Comments


Apparently I need to listen to some Unter Null

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

unternull
February 25th 2010



23 Comments


Thank you SO much. This is actually the most well-written review I've had on this album. Not my rating, but by journalism. Very well done.

I'll be honest, this isn't my last album with this project; I have simply been bored with the whole "industrial/ebm/etc" genre, and I'm constantly on the search for new sounds.

I'm really glad this album was enjoyable for you!

Cheers,

Erica// Unte Null

unternull
February 25th 2010



23 Comments


Ai yi yi I didn't rate a "5" so I don't know what happened!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2010



30882 Comments


Loving that 5 rating haha

unternull
February 25th 2010



23 Comments


I think I meant to rate the review a "5"! The writing is fantastic! But I'm not that much of an egoist to rate my own album! Whoops

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well, thanks. I think I'd be more concerned if you had rated your own album a one or a two. It's your work, you're supposed to love it ;)

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2010



30882 Comments


I think I meant to rate the review a "5"! The writing is fantastic! But I'm not that much of an egoist to rate my own album! Whoops


Sure sure! Listening to a couple of tracks now, this is actually really good. I'm surprised I haven't come across this sooner. And Willie, super review as always

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I am too, because there's been a few people talking about this album coming up in lists and whatever. I guess you just missed them.

Meatplow
February 25th 2010



5524 Comments


Sounds like just what I need right now.

Great review as usual. Have you got any other 2010 industrial recs to throw my way?

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cool, definitely look into this and tell me what you think if you buy it. I wouldn't call this straight-up industrial but it's definitely electronic. I've seen it classified a ton of different ways.

Nothing that I can think of right now... but look at this list of stuff coming up just at that one place:

http://www.metropolis-records.com

Meatplow
February 25th 2010



5524 Comments


I saw Unter Null listed as aggrotech somewhere.

That does look impressive.

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Some of the older stuff could be classified as that... this one, not so much.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2010



30882 Comments


I am too, because there's been a few people talking about this album coming up in lists and whatever. I guess you just missed them.


Heard the name, but just failed to make a connection I guess. Is it actually out yet?

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's out Friday. I didn't think they'd feature it this quick.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2010



30882 Comments


Will be acquiring, this sounds damn tasty

Edit: I'm surrounded by big ass avatars

Knott-
Emeritus
February 25th 2010



10194 Comments


THIS i think i might like

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really? I didn't think anything like this would appeal to you.

Knott-
Emeritus
February 25th 2010



10194 Comments


Haha. This is one of my unexplained hunches. I'll let you know.

Oblivioncry
February 25th 2010



601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, i just spent about 3 minutes looking for the pos button before i realized it was a staff review xD

i am listening to the myspace tracks right now but the vocals aren't really my thing. the rest is awesome though.



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