Unearth
Extinction(s)


3.5
great

Review

by Mason USER (58 Reviews)
January 15th, 2019 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Consistency prevails once again

The first adjective to come to mind when discussing the lengthy, illustrious career that Bostonian metalcore band Unearth is consistent; that they’ve always been consistent, almost to a fault. Despite this, they rarely became stale in the eyes of their fanbase, as their consistency ensured a baseline level of quality that was met time and time again. This is not to say there hasn’t been stylistic evolution for the quintet; 2011’s Darkness In the Light dabbled with more clean vocal passages, only to be followed by their most relentless release yet, this being Watchers of Rule. Aside from those minor shifts over the years, the band has stayed a stalwart in the metalcore genre for well over a decade. Extinction[s] is not much different in this regard, as their consistency plays as large of a role now as it did during the days of III: In the Eyes of Fire and The March.

One notable distinction that Unearth has been able to make with this album is its overall riffage. Considering The Acacia Strain’s own Daniel “DL” Laskewicz was given a writing credit on five songs, it’s not hard to understand why. While Extinction[s] cannot compare to Watchers of Rule in terms of overall aggression or even quality as a whole, they still succeed in creating an engaging, hard-hitting metal album. Opener “Incinerate” kicks the album off on the right foot with its driving groove established by guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi as well as drummer Nick Pierce, with tracks like “Dust”, “Cultivation of Infection” and “Survivalist” following similar suit. In typical Unearth fashion, breakdowns are aplenty, being especially notable on tracks like “King of the Arctic”, “Sidewinder”, and closer “One With the Sun”. A song like “No Reprisal” sees Buz McGrath’s lead guitar passages peppered in between the chuggy riffs, among other cuts on the album. Laskiewicz’s involvement surely won’t please everyone, as many disgruntled fans’ criticisms of this album thus far have been related to the fact that a member of The Acacia Strain helped co-write as well as vocalist Trevor Phipp’s shift in vocal style.

According to a statement made by the band, Extinction[s] is “full of venom toward the wrongs of the world, fighting back against the precarious position civilization is in, determined to effect some kind of change.” The band also mentioned that opener “Incinerate” is “meant to be a song of unity in a time of great polarization around the world.” Social statements like these have been used as a way to quell the divide that subjects such as politics and religion inevitably cause. Vocalist Trevor Phipps takes a more punk-esque approach to the lyricism on tracks like the opener and “Survivalist”, which tackles the subject of humanity’s inevitable demise by asking the question of “will I become just a fading memory?” early on in the song. The direct approach Phipps takes with his writing is at a direct contrast with the complex, encyclopedic writings of the likes of Silent Planet’s Garrett Russell, working to his advantage as he crafts a more easily digestible record lyrically. Rather than veil the message within a dozen layers of symbolism and confusing the listener in the process, the lyrics on Extinction[s] get straight to the point.

Unearth’s consistency with their music is simply remarkable. It’s almost to the point where they can comfortably rival the likes of fellow Massachusetts metalcore act Converge on that front, despite never reaching the same peaks as them. While it does comfortably sit below Watchers of Rule as well as The Oncoming Storm and III: In the Eyes of Fire, the ability of Extinction[s] to go toe to toe with albums such as The March or Darkness In the Light is still noteworthy. Despite a noticeable downgrade in Trevor Phipps’ vocal delivery and more simplistic songwriting being prevalent, it still feels like Unearth. The familiarity of it all is a double-edged sword; while it can be the album’s greatest strength, it can also be its greatest weakness. In the case of Extinction[s], it’s both at the same time, but the album still prevails.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AgentDeathbat
January 15th 2019


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ahead of schedule, but here's a review for the new Unearth, after about two months of it not being reviewed.

Ecnalzen
January 15th 2019


8262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I love Watchers, and Storm and III are awesome, too, but a lot of this was fairly forgettable to me.

AgentDeathbat
January 15th 2019


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@Ecnalzen: Understandable.

AdolfChrist
January 15th 2019


20684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Vocalist Trevor Phipps takes a more punk-esque approach to the lyricism on tracks like the opener and “Survivalist”, which tackles the subject of humanity’s inevitable demise by asking the question of “will I become just a fading memory?”



lol

Digging: Horsehunter - Horsehunter

0GuyMan0
January 16th 2019


1947 Comments


I feel bad about not listening to this yet.

AgentDeathbat
January 16th 2019


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@0GuyMan0: It's not too late, peep it when you can.

0GuyMan0
January 16th 2019


1947 Comments


I feel so bad for Unearth not getting the same unending love as ETID. Their disco is nearly as strong, and their live show is just as good.

Meridiu5
January 16th 2019


2052 Comments


Even though they've run out of steam a bit, these guys have aged the best among all the american metalcore bands. Nice review

Digging: Merzbow - Cloud Cock OO Grand

Durrzo
January 16th 2019


1714 Comments


This is so weak compared to Watchers Of Rule, and Trevor's vocals are really unappealing on this one.

AgentDeathbat
January 16th 2019


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@Meridiu5: Thanks!

@Durrzo: Oh definitely compared to Watchers, that album was mad good.

bloc
January 16th 2019


55108 Comments


One of the worst things I heard last year tbh

Digging: The Chemical Brothers - No Geography

AdolfChrist
January 16th 2019


20684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You just dont know how to punk.

JeetJeet
January 16th 2019


6330 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good review. Trash album.

Digging: Rico Nasty and Kenny Beats - Anger Management

AgentDeathbat
January 16th 2019


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off



Good review. Trash album.

AgentDeathbat
January 16th 2019


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nah but thanks for the praise, I do appreciate it fam.

Hawks
January 17th 2019


69449 Comments


AgmentDeathbat

Digging: Illyria - The Carpathian Summit

Itwasthatwas
January 17th 2019


1553 Comments


Haven't listened to this but I really fucking hate when bands put things in bracket(s)

ZodiacalWolf
February 19th 2019


191 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I don't know what you guys are talking about, this album is a giant stinker in their discography.

jmh886
April 4th 2019


2316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yea it was enjoyable for a few spins but the vocals really bring this down quite a bit. probably their worst album other than maybe their first, which really just has bad production. very weird album coming off of watchers, which might be their best. i agree they are consistent and probably one of the best metalcore bands from their era. still love unearth and good review though.



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