Pegged by Metal Blade as '...the best Heavy Metal record release since "Kill 'Em All"...' and given the star treatment in terms of overwhelming promotional support, Massachusetts (go figure) natives UNEARTH have arrived with their Metal Blade debut and forth release overall, "The Oncoming Storm".
The best record since "Kill 'Em All"? Not quite, but UNEARTH do deliver the goods in a very convincing way, assuming that you're into Metalcore. Obviously not the first band whose attempted to minimize the gap between Massachusetts and Gothenburg, UNEARTH nevertheless prove their worth by establishing themselves as sub-genre leaders alongside KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. In fact, this record's excellent production can be attributed to none other than KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist/workaholic Adam Dutkiewitz. However, unlike Adam D.'s band, UNEARTH seem to pay much greater homage to Gothenburg, "Zombie Autopilot" being an obvious nod to scene legends IN FLAMES ("Zombie Inc." anyone?). But aside from the expected, though not album defining, Metalcore cliches this album occasionally falls victim to, UNEARTH thankfully aren't afraid to let their skills shine, prime examples being the opening burst of "Failure" and the sweet(den) solos of the aforementioned "Zombie Autopilot". It's hard to argue with quality results and this album perfectly demonstrates why.
Now for those of you who gag at the thought of another Metalcore band entering the fold, I doubt UNEARTH will turn you into believers, but perhaps the fact that these guys sound more Swedish than American might render "The Oncoming Storm" that much more tolerable. A totally original, ground-breaking album? Not really. Worth checking out? Absolutely. (Online September 17, 2004)