It’s been a slow week for metal music, so I’ll focus on an album I didn’t cover last week (mostly because it wasn’t easy to find an online stream of it).
Unearth is a veteran metalcore band that just released their sixth (that’s right, sixth) album, Watchers Of Rule, so there are usually two outcomes that will happen this late in the game. They’ll either change their sound as the genre progresses or stick with the sound they’ve already established. Thankfully, Watchers Of Rule does the latter.
Unearth has always blended metal and hardcore element quite well to produce a crushingly fast sound and this album is no different despite being on a new label. Once Intro ends, strap on your seat belt, and get ready for fast paced instruments, breakdown and guitar solos (something too often neglected in the genre). It’s this balance that keeps Watchers Of Rule from falling into the trap of too many breakdowns and getting monotonous. The instrumental parts are what Unearth does best, and they’ll make you want to start a mosh pit wherever you are.
Trevor Phipps seems to have slightly lower vocals, which makes the overall album sound heavier by complementing the instruments. That’s not to say Phipps still doesn’t sound distinct, but he sounds much better when his voice isn’t as raspy as it was in The March.
The only problem is the the album is pretty short. There are only 10 songs (Intro doesn’t count). It’s a minor complaint, but 10 songs is the bare minimum amount before feeling like a rip-off. Supposedly being left wanting more could be good spin, especially with songs like The Swarm, but as a product, wanting more generally isn’t a good thing.
Since Unearth hasn’t drastically changed their sound, Watchers Of Rule won’t change anyone’s mind about them, but considering how they’ve nailed the balance of metal and core a long time ago, there’s no reason to fix something that’s not broken. Whether you lean more toward metal or hardcore music, Unearth will have something for everyone.