Unholy Fables - _Stone_
(Independent, 2011)
by: Chaim Drishner (9.5 out of 10)
With a stack of CDs piling up, awaiting their turn to be listened to and reviewed, this reviewer turns a blind eye towards them and says: fuck you all. Wait for your turn and just shut the fuck up, I've got greatness in my hands, spinning in my CD player, and I want to listen to it, enjoy it as much as I possibly can, and review it. Fucking now! Do you have a problem with that?!

Well, not really saying that; talking to a pile of CDs would be irrational, you know; however, putting Unholy Fables' _Stone_ in queue, postponing the pleasure of reviewing it, would be close to impossible, because this bunch of young Estonian dudes has assembled such a good metal album, it would embarrass most musicians out there, whose music would pale in comparison, shrivel and crumble... And they are not even listed on the Metal Archives. Ho, the irony...

Listen and learn: this is how unorthodox, twisted, fun, unexpected, avantgarde melodic black metal is done. _Stone_ should be the blueprint for any band striving to create in the realms of psychedelia, progressiveness, theatrics, avantgarde-ism, and still remain very much metal in essence and not dwindle into ridiculous pretense, losing its metallic edge while not quite getting to the plateau of full blown, bizarrely wonderful, sonic freak show.

Unholy Fables seemingly do everything by the book, sort of like Abigor. They have the distinctive black metal-ish sound, the average mock-symphonic keyboards, and that familiar black metal screeching vocalist. Only the sum of all this -- pretty much like the aforementioned Abigor, who provide you with the typical sounding black metal that is ultimately anything but typical sounding -- is extraordinary.

You see: Unholy Fabels' magic lies in their ability to provide you with such precise music, that every bit and passing second is meticulously calculated, with almost digital precision. Every riff, every keyboard stroke, every drum beat, has been carefully thought over as to provide you with the peak of the band's creation. It's like jumping from one mountain peak to the next; not one, single dull moment, not the most infinitesimal redundancy.

The music in _Stone_ is exciting, exhilarating, surprising, theatrical, lunatic and venomously sweet. The music is emotional, cold, razor-sharp, nostalgic and futuristic at once; it is dark yet joyous, conventional yet so wonderfully twisted.

The handling of the instruments is perfect. The vocals are uncannily versatile; black, death and gothic metal are thrown in, but so are Devil Doll; so are many other perfectly executed faculties shining in the music, from neo-classical passages to progressive metal insinuations.

Unholy Fables' music is self-proclaimed as being "true indie sarcastic black metal". Without a lyrics sheet, commenting on the "sarcastic" part of the description would be hard to do, but suffice to say the music shows quite the amount of (self-deprecating?) humor, a faculty one could sense intuitively and without great effort, and that, without losing an inch, a gram, of the music's power and vitriol. But in a sense, despite its goofiness, this title, "true indie sarcastic black metal", fits the music captured on _Stone_ perfectly.

Sound and approach-wise, _Stone_ is not unfamiliar, with Sigh's _Imaginary Sonicscape_, Arcturus' _La Masquerade Infernale_ and even Root's _The Book_, of sorts, and it occasionally echoes such wonderful oddities in its own unique voice, seeing eye to eye with these great albums, on par with their sheer musical excellence and that intrinsic streak of lunacy adorning their monumental music...

_Stone_ is definitely one of the best offerings the underground has spawned this year, and a must on your list of music to acquire ASAP. Hearing is believing!

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/unholyfables

(article published 5/6/2011)

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