Review Summary: Quite possibly, the greatest metalcore band of all time.
Unearth's sophomore record comes along stronger than ever before to deliver a masterpiece that defines the traits on what it means to play metalcore. In 2004, it wasn't uncommon for many bands to play guitar patterns similar to At the Gates songs while adding in a fusion of breakdowns to really make a live crowd go wild (Hatebreed, Integrity, Earth Crisis, Suffocation). But, Unearth absolutely nailed the combination of two different styles of Heavy Metal very well. This band honestly plays some of the sickest hardcore riffs that will make just about any crowd go wild from the start. But, they also provide a great amount of musical skill that works really well in their favor. The band can truly play some incredibly on point metal shreds that never stop throughout the listening experience.
With the binding guitar layers from riff masters Ken Susi and Buzz McGrath who each share the spotlight to provide an incredible amount of shredding. The incredible shrieks and scowls from monster vocalist Trevor Phipps. The super deep basslines from John Maggard and finally the powerful drums coming from Mike Justian who tosses up an incredibly powerful snare throughout the listening experience. Unearth's lineup on this record is absolutely untouchable to say the least. There are a number of songs that really show off what Unearth can do in terms of being a thunderous breakdown band and a sick shred band. Black Hearts Now Reign features a very groovy rhythm section to get you moving and then a hard hitting breakdown just comes out of nowhere to show you no mercy. Then, a nice solo comes in to break the action out! Zombie Autopilot is all about the crazy fast musical shreds, the breakdown in this song is pretty minimal as the main solo comes in to take center stage in this song. This Lying World features a hard hitting diminish chord to flatten you out of nowhere and then the breakdown in the beginning takes center stage to demolish you into oblivion.
The Oncoming Storm is honestly an album that really takes center stage to show off what mid 2000s metalcore was all about. This album is all no frills and no filler at all. It is an amazing piece of work that has gone down as a classic for me. I honestly only just scratched the surface on this record, if you want to see a textbook example of how metalcore should be defined, then this is something you should check out.
Favorite Songs: This Lying World, Zombie Autopilot, Failure, Endless & Black Hearts Now Reign