You’ve all had dreams, right? You know how in a dream, it makes sense that it’s your spouse but only they look more like the mailman? Everything makes sense in the dream. Then you try to explain it to somebody and they kinda roll their eyes and pretend that you make sense. Then you realize that you can’t even properly remember what’s going on or even understand it and get all frustrated with yourself and describing the dream has become an exercise in futility.
That’s what trying to explain “In A Flesh Aquarium” is like. UNEXPECT has split the weirdness atom. They have built a veritable freaky fission bomb and exploded it with the force of a billion bizarros. It’s a wonder to behold. There’s aspects of Black and Goth, Classical and a frenetic energy that makes comparisons really kinda futile. Looking at those three particular genres, I’m sure that you have a vague idea of what they should sound like—nope. Here’s the obligatory “for fans of” list of bands: FANTÔMAS, ARCTURUS, MR. BUNGLE, SOLEFALD, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, JOHN ZORN, etc.
And it’s glorious. All seven musicians—including two vocalists and a violinist—make their presence felt in the complex cavalcade of cacophony, the well-planned insanity that makes you grin in wide-eyed madness. Brilliant! Speaking of vocals, about two-thirds are handled by Leïlindel in a pleasing soprano, while Syriak (also a guitarist) lends growls, screeches and screams. Additionally, an operatic choir frequently pops up amid frenetic Black Metal and frantic insanity. I also feel obligated to mention that ChaotH uses a nine-string bass.
Really, you have to hear “In A Flesh Aquarium” to…well, not understand it, since that’s an exercise in futility, but to understand why it is so enjoyable. I can just keep repeating the words frenetic, frantic, insane and awesome for another two hundred words, but it wouldn’t be terribly illuminating. UNEXPECT really reach beyond the capability of language to convey. If you like anything out of the ordinary—if you don’t need traditional song structures—if you like it out in the tall weeds, as Wesley would say—hear this album. Obtain this album. Feel and love this album. It’s infinitely rewarding. (Online September 30, 2006)