Unprocessed - 'Covenant' Album Review


Tracklist:

1. Covenant

2. Haven

3. Ghilan

4. Malleable

5. Millenium

6. The Division

7. The Mirror

8. Meridian

9. Exhale

10. Exeunt

'Covenant' is a little heavier than a lot of the other albums I've reviewed for 3S&O. Reminding me of my younger days listening to Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails & Marilyn Manson, although saying that it's not all that musically reminiscent of those bands, Unprocessed are certainly capable musicians, there's a lot of musical complexity and instrumental chops on display here. The opener and title track proves this, then the vocals hit... first with a brutality which reminds me of the dual vocals of bands like BluntWoundTrauma, then intercut with a more melodic voice which reminds me very loosely of Corey Taylor's vocal style outside of Slipknot.

The music creates an interesting blend of atmospheres, with the beginning of single 'Haven' giving a contextual sonic trigger for the rest of the song, a pad of synthesiser sounds which, while creates a gently brooding backdrop informing if not exemplified during the rest of the song.

Just when you think you have a clear picture of what Unprocessed's music is about you get four songs into the album and there are synth bells mixing with the down-tuned guitars and double kick-drums. This is a band who will keep you guessing for sure.

I did feel that even with the chops on show on the guitars, bass and drums this band do seem to have embraced technology to create their music... not because they had to or out of any necessity to achieve their goals, but because they could... perhaps the next stage of evolution in music will increasingly interweave the use of traditional instruments and computers as equal contributors, this is certainly no new trend in Pop music but until the early 2000's many Rock bands eschewed the use of technology to create music (NIN being a notable exception), these days it's becoming more useable, more organic sounding, and those moments where it doesn't quite sonically gel are perhaps deliberate to create an additional tension in the sonic landscape the band are creating.

In all, there's a lot to take in with this album, with a combination of full-on aggression and sublime darkness. This music definitely has a lot of the emotive variety one expects of Prog but it's interlaced here with an air of brutality that will very much please fans of Modern Tech Metal (and indeed many other forms of Metal). Maybe not one for the faint of heart but worth a listen for those who enjoy a heavy, aggressive brutality but also want to be challenged melodically. It may not be one I'd listen to on a daily basis but it will certainly make it into rotation for this prog-head.

Bandcamp - unprocessed.bandcamp.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Unprocessedofficial/

Review - Mike McLaughlin

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