Against Myself - Unity - (7.5/10)
Published on February 15, 2019
I think this is the first album with a pirate ship in the artwork that I’ve ever heard that isn’t pirate metal. In fact, it’s on the other side of the damn spectrum from pirate metal, on the melodic/symphonic side, with a shot of progressive. Unity’s prog elements add some serious depth to the already intricate choir and string parts, making for an epic and immensely refined sound.
Unity is the first album to contain Against Myself’s new lineup, with Carlos Alcalde, Sergio Culebras, and Raúl Plaza on the keys, guitars, and bass, respectively. The musicianship is outstanding in the entire album, from the light and airy piano/vocal segments to the heavily syncopated breakdowns.
The first few tracks on the album are nothing special, but the music shows us a little more in ‘Over the Clouds’. The instrumental in the beginning is a bit Nightwishy, and, I swear to god, near the end of the first verse there’s a line that’s taken straight out of Amaranthe’s ‘Dynamite’. Anyway, the song gives us a tasty synth solo before heading through more epic choirs and into the final section of the song.
Speaking of solos, there are some great ones worthy of mention; the guitar solo in ‘The Wanderer’, which carries on tastefully for a couple minutes and contains some detailed licks. The other, and easily my favourite, is the guitar outro of the fifteen minute prog piece ‘Oniros’, which is a phenomenal song even without a solo. I feel like the slow piano run at the end would have been a perfect conclusion for the album, but the actual final track gets the job done.
Irene Villegas does a wonderful job with her clean, deliberate vocals and has no problem ramping them up a bit to emphasize a melody. Additionally, Unity offers so much variety that there’s probably something in it for everyone. There are some gothic-sounding songs, such as ‘Demons’, a couple well done slow tunes, the intensely harsh ‘The Hidden Truth’, and everything in between. And if that isn’t enough, drummer Charly Carretón doesn’t give two shits and will lay down a blast beat whenever the fuck he feels like it, whether it’s a laid back chorus or a heavier breakdown.
I thoroughly enjoyed this album. It has plenty to offer and almost never sets into a single feel or groove. Furthermore, the band sounds tight and the production quality follows suit. Check it out; you won’t be disappointed!
Originally written for powerthorn.com