Review Summary: Clinic For Dolls might not be the most clever album title you've ever heard but ex-Vader guitarist Maurycy's current project UnSun has stepped up thier game with this sophmore release.
Debut album The End of Life was a solid slab of female fronted goth-metal that while entertaining didn't really bring anything new to the table.
The biggest detractor from The End of Life was the production. The guitars were incredibly muddy, the drums muffled and the bass non-existent. This time around the production is crystal clear with the emphasis evenly split between Aya's vocals and the rest of the instrumentation. The riffs are nothing special but provide a good backdrop to Aya's unique vocal style. She still retains the slightly nasal, Polish-accented singing that we heard on The End of Life but with the better production, the accent isn't quite as harsh. Aya's vocal style is in the same vein as new Nightwish and Tristania, not operatic but still a great style for those who enjoy female vocals soaring over heavy guitars.
Guitar solo's litter every song, short yet effective and much in the same vein as the debut. The first song The Lost Way
is easily one of the best on the record. Piano and electric drums open up and lead to double bass and fantastic drumming. The songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds. Everything sounds fresh and the chorus is catchy as hell.
The following track Clinic For Dolls
is not so lucky. The chorus is bland, repetitive and awkward marking this as the weakest song on the record. The following three songs are decent, nothing to unique or special but still keep the record at a good pace and are fairly good listens. Just as The End of Life
had it's ballad 'Memories', The Last Tears
is a similar piano driven ballad with soft orchestration in the backround. The most intriguing thing about UnSun is definately Aya's vocal work.
Her accented singing will either drive you away or intrigue you enough to be drawn into the songs.
The songs end up fairly predictable by the end and the same wah effect used for every solo make the album repetitive enough not to garnish an excellent score. THis is nothing you haven't heard before in the hundreds of female fronted metal bands that are currently enjoying a wave of popularity (and have been for the last 15 years, more so in Europe than North America I suspect).
For those of us who enjoy this style of music however, UnSun are definitely worth garnering a mention for this years great albums. What they do, they do it well and some respect should be earned. Especially when the improvement in this album is so vast compared to the initial release.