Unearth - _III: In the Eyes of Fire_
(Metal Blade Records, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
Listening to this Massachusetts quintet rip through their fourth full-length, you can't help but think that perhaps -- despite their flaws -- they've been somewhat unjustly overlooked amidst the ruckus of the ever-burgeoning new wave of heavy metal. Perhaps it's their disregard for anything remotely approaching a radio-friendly chorus, or maybe they're just too damned scruffy to grace the cover of Kerrang! magazine. Whatever the reason, it's quite obvious from the outset of this opus that they're not especially concerned with mass-acceptance either way; a marked increase in heaviness and brutality clarifies that early on.

Moreso than simply turning up the volume however, the band have, with the help of one-time Pantera producer Terry Date, matured their songwriting talents to the point where their myriad influences now work together harmoniously rather than jostle for the listener's attention. The hardcore pomp and the waft of Scandinavian melo-death remain a constant, but it's that much more palatable this time round.

"This Glorious Nightmare" sets the tone in an explosion of sonic malevolence that's custom-designed to cause injury. Skipping nary a beat, "Giles" blasts directly out of its glowing embers, recalling The Haunted's debut as performed by a roving troupe of rabid pit bulls. Nine tracks later and "Big Bear and the Hour of Chaos" brings a suitably cataclysmic close to proceedings -- and even if, along the way, there may be fleeting moments where you'll feel like you're listening to the same song, it's a testament to the relentlessness of Unearth's onslaught more than anything else.

Contact: http://www.unearth.tv

(article published 12/9/2006)

11/17/2006 J Smit Unearth: Fire Rains From the Sky
10/24/2008 J Smit 5.5 Unearth - The March
4/21/2003 A Magers Shadows Fall / Shai Hulud / Unearth / Cephalic Carnage Shadows Fall Over Columbus, Ohio
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