Turns out I missed that UNSUN even released a new album this last year. Perhaps it was the fact that their debut, “The End Of Life”, was relatively unimpressive on the whole or perhaps it was just a busy year for buying albums. Either way the sophomore effort of these Polish Gothic Metallers is now out under the title of “Clinic For Dolls”.
Although the second release might be a step forward for UNSUN, it still strikes a rather bland chord as it plays out and never really gets itself out of mediocre territory. It is more memorable than their debut, but it still lacks the ‘oomph’ to make it punchier than other Gothic bands doing a heavier style and lacks the symphonic finesse that makes someone like NIGHTWISH worth the listen. It still just rides the middle of being a good album but far from great.
With its female lead crooning (as many Gothic bands have adopted as of late) and its musical backing from ex-VADER guitarist Mauser, UNSUN should be a pretty solid band. Unfortunately, vocalist Aya tends to stay in the same sort of style the entire time, never utilizing the melodic range she only touches on, and the musical backing tends to want to give in to her vocals and takes a back seat in its writing. Occasionally, there is a solid riff, cool drum beat, or nifty piano/synth line that will catch the ear (like the stop and go Modern Metal sound of the verse on “Not Enough”), but more often than not the band seems content just getting the job done rather than flourishing it out.
UNSUN remains far more talented then their output actually displays and “Clinic For Dolls” is only further proof that the band is good, but fails to be great. Still a band to watch just because a break through album seems imminent at some point, but “Clinic For Dolls” is not that album. Mediocre Gothic Metal to the core.
Songs to check out: “The Lost Way”, “Not Enough”, “Clinic For Dolls”.
(Online January 24, 2011)