Unexpect
Fables of the Sleepless Empire


3.0
good

Review

by fromtheinside USER (127 Reviews)
August 25th, 2011 | 40 replies | 4,222 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: imagine summary if the i wrote like this. that like it's kinda

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

I have quite the quarrel with Fables of the Sleepless Empire. On the one hand I admire Unexpect's aspiration and virtuosity. They excel in the art of psychotic metal; they seem to know no limits and their fervor to expand music’s parameters are often spellbinding. On the other hand I can't go longer than twenty seconds listening to this without thinking What. The. Fuck? It's a dizzying adventure that leaves me more than confused - instead of stars I see: elephants, phantoms, a charizard, and Charlie Manson all vivaciously dancing 'round my head; it leads me to assume it's probably what Cirque du Soleil is like on shrooms. However, it's more frustrating than it is scary or overly dramatic; I'm actually astonished this doesn't sit nicely within my collection, somewhere pocketed between The Dillinger Escape Plan and Between the Buried and Me, but Fables' M.O. is intentional madness - an unnecessary and ultimately destructive factor to their most ambitious release to date.

Fables best qualities lie in its execution. Clearly the band spent an insurmountable amount of time creating the most abstract workings of rhythm, juxtaposing sounds upon the most fragile of foundations. This is Unexpects trademark; indulging in areas of music that few dare wander and they meander through with ease - or, at least they used to, and things allude to that comfortable territory with opener "Unsolved Ideas of A Distorted Guest". Rapid twiddling of the bass lay framework for a compelling six minute frenzy of circus guided outbursts and dense grooves mixed with hyperactive synths and vocals. We're dealing with deficient attention spans here and there’s no better caterer, but with that lack of stability comes little to no cohesion whatsoever. I can't help but feel overwhelmed two songs in and having already listened to eighty seven genres of music within twelve minutes. These plights though are not what hinder Fables from becoming the masterpiece it so desperately desires, no, that stems from what fosters.

Too many times Unexpect dabble in areas that sound immaculate only in their grandiose delusions. "Mechanical Phoenix", for example, features one of the most promising progressions within the album a minute into the song, but that potential is squandered with multiple cheeky change ups and superfluous needs to bombast the listener from one extreme to the other, whether it be with textures or more circus noises - a shtick that's better used scarcely might I add, and it's passages like this that do more frustrating than awing. The best song on the album "The Quantum Symphony" showcases what should have transpired throughout Fables. The transitions are smooth and the breaks between melody and madness create that effervescent voyage into Unexpect’s world like the releases of past. Unfortunately, too often are we left to put the puzzle pieces together that make up this madhouse of music and the incoherence settles in; when they've shifted gears to orchestra centered metal with jazz fusions I'm still trying to digest the dog barked lyrics that precede it. Ironically a majority of Fables plays out this way which leads me to its biggest fault.

They do too much at one time. A lot of Fables is truly astounding. Their ability to even fit middle eastern harmonies alongside power math metal is a feat in and of itself, but it's reduced to rubbish when the band fail to successfully compound on any of these instances. It's even more annoying because so many songs start off on the right foot and then do a 1260 degree turn in the wrong direction; main perpetrator "When the Joyful Dead Are Dancing" serves as the poster child for this headache; exploding with strings and sharp tonal changes create the atmosphere the ridiculous title implies, but ends on the most raucous of notes; having ditched the circus (there's that damn descriptor again, seriously it's only appealing so few times) wedding sound in favor of something that flowed into the ear sore of a closer that completely flat lines in an attempt to end epically. I guess it's only right that the album end as far from its beginning as feasible, though, and in hindsight I can laud the band for their consistency for straying way, way off the path



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user ratings (323)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Philippe (3.5)
Bat shit crazy metal indeed......

jitteryzeitgeist (4.5)
It's UneXpect, on all cylinders, full-bore, hatef*cking thine ears into the Devils Circus....

Dakota West Foss (4.5)
The carnival's back in town....

Maniac (4.5)
My year is complete....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
August 25th 2011



17714 Comments


review prolly reads lower than a 3 but whatever.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Maniac!
August 25th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You have no idea how much I hate you right now.

Parallels
August 25th 2011



6640 Comments


lol

fromtheinside
August 25th 2011



17714 Comments


love you too

Acanthus
August 25th 2011



9537 Comments


This sounds interesting, I'm going to go give it a listen.

Pos'd too

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Maniac!
August 25th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's awesome.



I pos'd, but I still hate you.

Acanthus
August 25th 2011



9537 Comments


I'm agreeing with you here Maniac, the first track really is quizzical yet it comes off (to me) as an insanely fun outing into the bands musical prowess.

Also had no clue this had a female vocalist, quite a nice surprise!

R6Rider
August 25th 2011



4476 Comments


good review

fully explains why I couldn't get into this

Digging: Rort - Warpath

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2011



23798 Comments


hahahaha dude i love that summary, will read the review now

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2011



23798 Comments


nice review, im still trying to decide if i want to hear this and this review actually makes me want to. loved the inclusion of charizard.

PseudoIntellectual
August 25th 2011



9 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I endorse this review.

Jruined
August 25th 2011



1289 Comments


Agreed. I honestly just don't care too much for these guys. On the one hand, like you said I appreciate the amount of thought that goes into their work, but on the other hand it just doesn't sit with me at all.

They kind of remind me of the B-movie equivalent of John Zorn, Idiot Flesh, Bungle or some such. I feel like the elements are there but they just can't gel it together in a manner that uplifts the technicality.

On top of that I can't stand the female vocals, I just hate that faux-operatic style. Doesn't matter if it's male or female doing it.

Then again this is mine own opinion.

theacademy
August 25th 2011



28239 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

orange vigilantes

Jruined
August 25th 2011



1289 Comments


That's one of the songs I enjoy until that chick starts spilling her vibrato all over the place. She's like the drunk at the party who shows his/her genitals to anyone who looks mildly enticing via the boozed out glasses they have on, but instead it's that cheesy warble.

Jruined
August 25th 2011



1289 Comments


Which means no sex, by the way, only aural rape.

Jruined
August 25th 2011



1289 Comments


That being said if I had a chance to see them live, my opinion might change entirely. I just have a feeling that would be the way to go with these guys.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2011



30873 Comments


Album is a 3, so....

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

fromtheinside
August 25th 2011



17714 Comments


123

zaruyache
August 25th 2011



5875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have to agree with the review. There is a lot to be enjoyed about this band, but attempting to listen to whole songs generally leaves me dazed and confused by the constant whirlwinds of structure changes and layered vocals.

Digging: Sunwolf - Beholden To Nothing And No One

Hawks
August 26th 2011



34450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree with this review so much.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel



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