Unearth sound truly epic on their 2018 Century Media Records release Extinction(s). The band presents a vast and engaging metallic sound while at the same time maintaining an important edge that never really lets up. They have found their perfect spot and exploited it for its full potential, and while some bands can get into a rut after such a lengthy maintenance and development of their sound, not Unearth. They don’t sound tired at all.
Musically, Extinction(s) defies easy categorization, which proves a welcome feature. Observers often describe Unearth as a metalcore band, but there’s an important ton more to their sound than that, and the band forces the listener to acknowledge as much with Extinction(s). Rather than getting bogged down in convention and writing, say, breakdown-laden song after song, the band maintains a vast, forward looking feel which is fitting for the subject matter presented on their new record, honestly. The band bemoans the decline of human existence to put it broadly.
In the midst of that, Unearth maintain a unique sensibility that remains difficult to pull off, if the output from other bands taking on the thematic and musical subject matter has something to say. Thematically, the band keeps the listener guessing with their presentation, exploring each side of humanity’s metaphysical rage. Musically, the album never gets boring. One’s only occasionally reminded they’re even listening to an album put out by artists often described in a particular fashion (as metalcore).
The thriving, pulsating, forward-bent spirit maintains its presence all the way to the last track of the record. The band’s sonic determination feels like it’s communicating an important aspect of metal’s original lifeblood. To borrow from Dylan Thomas, we will not go quietly into that dark night. The fact that the band has packaged something familiar into fresh wrappings makes it all the more remarkable and proves that the band is onto something here.
There’s no escaping that no matter any detractors, Unearth have carved themselves a refreshing and unique spot in the modern metal community. The best thing to do for the heavy music fan would be to just listen to the music at this point.