Review Summary: Criminally unknown ear splitting madness back from '89, y'know, back when grind was good
Unseen Terror are a terribly overlooked grind band back from the late 80's, and was founded by Shane Embury (whom you may know better as the future bassist for grind pioneers Napalm Death). It should also be noted that Mitch Dickinson (now of Heresy) also joined the band later on. The Peel Sessions is regarded by many who actually know of this band to be their greatest effort, (in competition with their recordings for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 program from '88). This album offers up more diversity in play style, more eclecticism from the vocalist, and overall a little special something to be heard from each individual member, all packed into this midget of a recording.
The album starts with a riff that lets you know big things are coming your way, and making his grand entrance, Mitch Dickinson hilariously entertains his moshing audience with clean, English vocals fronting chaotic riffing madness in the background. It is hard to deny that Mitch Dickinson and Mick Harris doing vocals together was an incredible idea. They just fit so well together. In The Peel Sessions, they sound just as good if not better than any duel vocalist out there these days (or for that matter, just about anything you could find back then). There really isn’t much they falter on in here.
The album soon enough though switches to demolishing death metal vocals powerfully backed by Shane's insane drumming. The drumming in this EP is near to perfect, the snare, the hats, the whole nine yards is clearly distinguishable from the otherwise raw political anger inflicted into this album. As the album progresses, more great things can be seen, however some stuff tends to rub the wrong way. "Divisions" is a good track and all, it meets the criteria of brutality expressed all up and down this EP, but it's a little too long for its worth. The riffs aren't as exciting, but the drums rage on without care. The mini solo rules, but the overall structure is lackluster compared to what's in store for you.
The next track, "Voice Your Opinion", is not only the longest track here, but probably the second best as well. It's catchy, Shane is spazzing on his drum kit again, and the vocals sound as good as ever. More of the same as we continue, and for those that thinks this'll get boring soon, too bad; this is only 12 minutes long, not enough time here to get boring. The next track is probably the best on this EP. "Strong Enough to Change" starts with a neat bass line, then it's back to the grind. The riffs are probably the most catchy and creative here, the vocals rule, the guitars squeal in anger, there’s a neat drum solo about half way through alongside more cool bass lines, and more. In these 2 minutes, this track covers more than most everything else on the album combined.
To sum this brutality all up, this entire 12 minute assault is simply a pure, raging, and maniacal jizz storm. Though only 12 minutes in length, when it's all over, you may as well have spent this time putting your head through a meat grinder, because that's about the same impact this is going to have on you. And as icing on the cake, the production here is much clearer for a lot of its raw and rather untranslatable cousins. If raw is your thing, fear not, the cleaner production here still leaves enough raw sounding, political ranting as is most of what you'd expect to find in grind at this point in time. Trust in riffs, this is one of the lost gems of the 80's.