Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada’s Unbeheld deliver a clever hybrid of old school Death Metal (think Deicide, Bolt Thrower, or Cannibal Corpse) with more modern approaches like Gojira and Obscura. As is the case with many exceptional artists, Unbeheld also incorporates a style that is all their own: concise, razor sharp arrangements (with absolutely nothing more than necessary) and a lyrical approach that draws on themes of anxiety and depression. Many of their peers choose to rehash the same themes of violence and gore in the death metal canon whereas Unbeheld strike from a different angle.
Their brand new album Dust was recorded with Mark McKitrick @ Rain City Recorders and mastered by Stu McKillop. The record commences with a slow burning wash of dissonant vocals and soundscapes which eventually crescendo into the title track. Based on this track alone –Unbeheld is clearly capable of hanging with the legends with their inhumanly precise execution and blazing arrangements. The album title track is preceded by Desecrated Ground which begins with a half time arpeggiated theme which is quite capable of snapping the listener’s neck. The track volleys between the aforementioned groove and a thunderous onslaught that recalls something not unlike From Mars to Sirius era Gojira. The production on this record is outstanding and the band chooses some excellent tones for their solos. This is particularly evident on Desecrated Ground.
The next track (and 2nd single from the release) Lamentations, is exceptionally memorable with its rumbling riffage (dig how it transitions to half time around the 0:21 mark, brilliant. Same goes for the slide guitar break @ 2:08) As is the case with the rest of the record, Lamentations is jaw dropping in its understated technicalities. Unbeheld writes exceptionally complex arrangements but they seem to have a purpose as opposed to shredding for the sake of it.
Track 6 Vultures features the most melodic guitar motif on the record and in true Unbeheld style – it completely works. Drummer Izzy really shines on this track with his double kick work. The guitar solo further heightens the musical cacophony.
I happened upon a live Unbeheld performance in the summer of 2015 and truthfully, I couldn’t have been more impressed. For as technical and dynamic as their recordings sound, the band is able to pull it off seemingly effortlessly live.
Back to Dust – if the guitar break @ the 2:42 mark during album closer Nothing doesn’t make you a fan then perhaps, nothing will? Unbeheld possesses first rate songwriting chops and the technical savvy to execute the ideas. I could most certainly see them making a name for themselves in the genres that they dabble in. This is a work of excellence all around.
Release Date: July 21st 2017
Favorite Tracks: “Lamentations”, “Dust”, “Nothing”
For Fans Of: Gorguts, Gojira, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Obscura, Decapitated