May 122011

Doesn’t it seem like whenever you see the word “metalcore” in commentary about new music these days, the word “generic” isn’t far away? The metalcore genre has now been with us so long that, at least in the eyes of metal “elitists” (so-called by, uh, fans of metalcore), it has become stagnant, stuck in the template that was hammered out more than a decade ago, recycling its familiar tropes and only rarely venturing into the realm of originality.

To be honest, that “generic” label could be applied to bands and albums in every genre of metal. Is it really more often true of new metalcore releases than, say, new death metal albums? And do we really need a band to break new ground in a familiar genre in order to find the music worthwhile? Or is it sufficient that a band know what they’re doing and do it well, even if there are no surprises in store?

Before “metalcore” became a dirty word in many metal circles, before the genre became saturated with formulaic music, there was Unearth. In our opinion, their albums have stood out from the burgeoning crowd, thanks to their talent for creating memorable hooks and melodies (and breakdowns) while preserving all that hardcore grit and aggression. It doesn’t hurt that they put on a head-busting live show — one of those bands we turn out to see whenever they get close to The Emerald City.

Unearth will be releasing their fifth album (Darkness In the Light) via Metal Blade on July 4, their first in two and a half years. Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage) produced it, and KsE’s Justin Foley laid down the drum tracks. Last night, as a warm-up to the release, Unearth uploaded a song called “Eyes of Black” to YouTube. After the jump, we have the song and a few more words . . .

Unearth frontman Trevor Phipps had this to say about the song in a press release: “We chose ‘Eyes Of Black’ to be the first song heard out of the gate as we feel it represents the ‘UNEARTH sound’ and style perfectly and it’s simply a hard-hitting, catchy-as-hell song. The lyrics are also in line with many of the album’s darker lyrical themes. I’m not speaking for all of the band, but this is my personal favorite on the album and I can’t wait to get out there and play it live!”

“Eyes of Black” is an auspicious herald for the new album. Phipps sounds great, Justin Foley kills it behind the kit, and once again Unearth have unearthed a winning combination of hardcore venom and a memorable chorus. Oh, yeah, there’s a breakdown at the end. So, go ahead and call us names, but we still like our breakdowns around here. We like this song, too. Groundbreaking? Nope. An example of a band who know what they’re doing and do it well? Yessir!

  8 Responses to “UNEARTH: “EYES OF BLACK””

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this. Unearth was always a band for me that I knew I could rely on for solid stuff. Like you said, it’s not groundbreaking but it is consistently good. I’m hoping to catch them this summer on the Mayhem Tour. It’s probably been a good 7 years since I’ve seen them play (7 years too long).

  2. dude that shit was awesome!

  3. Good ol’ reliable Massachusetts metalcore — the pioneers. Also read on Brian Fair’s twitter that Shadows Fall are in the process of demoing new material, and they’ve never let me down apart from Threads of Life. Metalcore lives.

    And for those bashing Unearth for “sounding the same” — they’ re no different to Amon Amarth in the sense that they do not deviate from their formula — and continue to put out quality material that put most of their peers to shame. Or maybe those people would like Unearth to follow the lead of All That Remains, watering down their material and turning into a shitstain of a band. I don’t think anyone could imagine Trevor Phipps crooning a clean, sing-a-long catchy chorus…

  4. this is an abomination to the music race

  5. Uneath rules. Best metal band going today.

    • You’ll be interested in this press release I just got (May 20): “Today, Liquid Metal (SiriusXM 40) will host the exclusive premiere of UNEARTH’s “Shadows In The Light,” the third track off the band’s upcoming and eagerly-anticipated Darkness In The Light full-length!

      Said vocalist Trevor Phipps: “‘Shadows In The Light’ is a tune that showcases everything UNEARTH has ever brought to the table from the aggressive to melodic sides both musically and vocally. This is probably the most ‘dynamic’ song on the album, but also one of the hardest hitters… and the catchiest.”

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