Unearthly Trance CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers

Music Reviews
Unearthly Trance CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Jan 22, 2009, 04:59

Unearthly Trance - Electrocution


Brooklyn's Unearthly Trance turned many-a-head and volume knobs up with 2006's The Trident what with its smashing blows and Crowley-tinged forays into the human psyche. It was one of my most surprising discoveries of the year so, needless to say, Electrocution came with ants-in-pants, Christmas morning excitement. Now the saying, “If you never get your hopes up you will never be disappointed,” rears its poignant head.

As “Chaos Star” opens this their third full-length the aura surrounding is that of almost laziness. Everything is there—Darren Verni's punishing, round-the-world drums, Jay Newman's supportive, inaudible but quaking bass, and Ryan Lipynsky's off-kilter, haunting guitar and underworld beckoning roars. The problem lies in the seeming detachment of all involved. The chemistry heard and felt before has simply vanished and the Trance has become merely a job. As the album slumbers through and each listener loses interest what was once an onslaught now limps on through the awkward “Diseased” and into “The Scum is in Orbit” and “Religious Slaves.” “Whoa, what have you been up to the last few years,” asks the bewildered fan now staring at someone they don't even know anymore.

Now it's not all rainy parade—the ferocious “God is a Beast” picks up a few of the pieces that seem to hold these guys together. Its sludged intro opens up some room for Lipynsky's bold statement, “There are no winners this year…,” as if to predict the band's own failings. Time change and movement continues into a separate entity until the final closing stomp (after the useless five-second pause) where it is proclaimed that god is, in fact, a “beast/As am I.” Scary shit in sound and subject. “Burn You Insane” offers another shoulder rub that maybe, hopefully, these guys are still in it to win.

A one-off out of three albums is not the worst thing in the world. What is worrisome is being witness to the monstrosity that these fellows are capable of. Here's to the new hope that is now prevalent in America…that once promising artists move with the times and not lose the beautiful “danger” element that makes this genre so enticing. [Relapse]

-Luc Rodgers


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