Many moons ago, CONFESSOR dropped a bomb called "Condemned." Not only was this album firmly within the bounds of Doom Metal, but it managed to kick those bounds around a bit and land itself into realm of Progressive Metal. Doom and Progressive might seem like mutually exclusive terms, but CONFESSOR made it work and made it work in such a way that Doomsters and Progsters could both agree - this was good stuff. Though the high-pitched vocals might have been a bit off-putting, the sheer power and complexity of the music was more than enough to compensate.
Fast forward to today and we find a reunited CONFESSOR finally releasing their second full-length, "Unraveled." The band never planned on reforming, but following a few tribute shows put on to help cover the medical bills of their late guitarist, Ivan Colon, the band realized that they still had it. They could still rip through the old material and they could still write songs that rivalled anything they had done in the past. "Unraveled" is proof enough of this last statement - CONFESSOR are back, still relevant and as powerful as ever. They're Doom, they're Progressive and they're Metal, but most of all, they're awesome.
Now, a lot of people will say that this sounds like MESHUGGAH meets TROUBLE. I disagree. There are a lot of jerky, odd-timed riffs here, but they're not as extreme nor as seemingly arbitrary as those found on a MESHUGGAH record. The Doomier aspects of the band bring to mind later PENANCE more so than TROUBLE, especially when listening to Scott Jeffreys' toned-down vocal style. I say "toned-down" because it's not as high-pitched and, well, unique as it had been on "Condemned," with Jeffreys opting for more of a grungy, ALICE IN CHAINS inspired vocal style with occasional wanderings into the wailing days of yore.
Recommended tracks? A lot of them. "Until Tomorrow" has this huge sound that will no doubt induce massive amounts of headbangery and "Wigstand" brings the Doom in a way that most others simply cannot do. Simply put, these songs are good, without a weak one in the bunch. "Unraveled" is a rock solid record and CONFESSOR are still very much a force to be reckoned with in today's Metal scene.
Write a kick ass full-length, take nearly 15 years off and then come back and write an equally kick ass follow-up? Yeah, CONFESSOR makes it look easy. (Online February 8, 2006)