An Unction In Braille, The Wordless Whisper (2021)

New England metal band An Unction In Braille release their inaugural EP, The Wordless Whisper.

The band has been coming together since about 2012. The music is a melodic-esque combination of death metal, metalcore, and grindcore – light on the melodic. While that description does cover a lot of ground, the music itself has a recognizable focus in its combinatorics. The musicians are Robert Meroski (guitar), Josh Veck (vocals), Kieran Beaty (guitar), Wes Welch (bass), and Jacob Lindquist (drums).

There are five tracks on the EP, each weighing in at radio length. The opener, “Catharsis,” is built around a discreet elemental sounds that stand together in order to create a collective front. The tips and ranges make ideal sense in the context of the subject. “Of The Dead” goes next and dashes off in a different direction altogether. There is a coarseness to the syncopation that oversteps the fundaments just enough to keep you guessing. And then “An Inch From Death” has a structure that seems almost linear compared to the first two; a very death metal approach to the ideas.

“Sickening Sweet” shows the most melodic movements on the set, all the while surrounded by pile driving percussion and staccato riffs. The final track is “Dark As Black.” There is a vileness in the vocals that would go nicely in a black metal tune. Here it both competes with and complements the barely contained other-raging pylons of musical construction. These songs do leave you a little unbalanced after listening to them, an effect that is surely deliberate and calculated. When I am listening to An Unction In Braille I am hearing something different from the off-the-shelf music I sometimes come across, and I like it. Recommended.

The Wordless Whisper is out on Friday October 29th on CD and digital. The omnipresent Bandcamp is a good place to pick it up.

Links.

An Unction In Braille website, https://www.anunctioninbraille.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AUiBmusic/

Bandcamp, https://anunctioninbraille.bandcamp.com/album/the-wordless-whisper

An Unction In Braille, The Wordless Whisper (2021)

Beartooth, Below (Red Bull Records 2021)

The wild ride continues with the fourth album from Columbus punk/metal/hardcore facilitators Beartooth.

The recording journey started in 2014 with Disgusting, an album that surprised and energized the heavy music community. It was Aggressive (2016) next then Disease (2018) and now Below. Always straight to the point. After the recent departure of longtime guitarist Kamron Bradbury, the band is, by the most recent accounting, Caleb Shomo (vocals), Oshie Bichar (bass), Connor Denis (drums), Zach Huston (guitar), and Will Deely (guitar).

The music is a squish of many influences from metalcore to post-punk, often circling around soaring melodic choruses which definitely stand out in the unavoidable comparison to the screaming stanzas. The bursting energy you hear in the songs is something to behold in person. Beartooth is one of those bands I saw live having never heard any of their music before. They definitely make an impression.

“Devastation” and “The Past Is Dead” have gotten a few million plays on Spotify and they are great instances of Beartooth that will catch listeners and bring them in to the broader display of the entire Below album. I am not even going to pick a favorite. Every song is rocket ride, one way or another. You can’t listen to this album sitting down, easy in your chair – you have to get up and let it move through you. If you haven’t started your summer yet, this is the kickstart you need. Recommended.

Below is out now. Go to the band’s website (tap below) to catch the links to all the music and merch.

Live photo by Wayne Edwards, Heavy Montreal 2019.

Links.

Website, https://beartoothband.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/BEARTOOTHband

Beartooth, Below (Red Bull Records 2021)

Soilwork, A Whisp Of The Atlantic review (Nuclear Blast 2020)

The new Soilwork EP is Long Play in length and grand in stature.

I jumped onto the Soilwork bandwagon with Sworn To A Great Divide in 2007, and that was their seventh full-length album so I started out way behind the curve. Discovering the rest of their music over the years by hearing the subsequent new releases while simultaneously going through the back catalogue was a journey and a quest. Melodic Death Metal segue to Metalcore and Groove, the music was always full bodied and finished with precision.

The new EP is 38 minutes long with an epic opening song that runs nearly half that total length. Soilwork has produced some long songs, but nothing like this. And significantly, there is a lot of story here, which makes sense given the nature of the construction. The band for A Whisp Of The Atlantic is Bjorn Strid (vocals), David Andersson (guitar), Sylvain Coudret (guitar), Sven Karlsson (keys, samples), and Bastian Thusgaard (drums).

Andersson tells us that each songs has an underlying core, “From the desire of ‘Feverish,’ the urge of ‘Desperado,’ the determinism of ‘Death Diviner,’ the insights and questions of ‘The Nothingness and the Devil’ and the acceptance and spiritual searching of ‘A Whisp of the Atlantic.’” The centerpiece title song is a complicated composition ranging over a broad spectrum of music and feeling in its seventeen minutes. It does not stand alone on the album, but it could, in my estimation. It is theatrical and cinematic, by which I mean the presentation of the story through the music exists on the large broad scale and also on a close, intimate one. It is hard to imagine that a band with legendary status like Soilwork would continue to innovate to this degree and post such a milestone so far along their path, but here they have done it. Recommended.

December 4th is the drop date for A Whisp Of The Atlantic. It is an essential element in the Soilwork canon.

Band photo by Stephansdotter Photography.

Links.

Soilwork website, https://www.soilwork.org/

Soilwork Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/soilwork/

Nuclear Blast, https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/discography/details/6963921.70960.a-whisp-of-the-atlantic-ep.html

Soilwork, A Whisp Of The Atlantic review (Nuclear Blast 2020)