Unearth – Extinction(s) (Century Media)

So many bands stake a claim to be the innovators of that dividing sub-genre of hardcore called metal-core. If Earth Crisis, Integrity and the like are considered the first wave, then Unearth are without doubt part of the second wave of bands that took the best of metal and the best of hardcore and created something entirely new. Of course that scene has been watered down so much now, that it’s hardly recognisable anymore, but hopefully Unearth are back to recapture that former glory.

As a fan of their early stuff, but admittedly not much after The Oncoming Storm, I was hoping that Extinction(s) would be a return to that era, but if anything they are now further removed from that sound than ever before. It seems like the innovators of the scene have just jumped in bed with all current trends. It’s not that it’s a bad album, the problem is that it just sounds like everything else that metal-core has become. That’s not to say the album doesn’t have its moments however. Opening track Incinerate with its squealing guitar work over pummelling drums is a great opener and smoulders into a delicious melody Judas Priest would be proud of. Dust goes someway to back that up, giving the album, a strong double opening, that only serves to pound you into the ground and Sidewinder is a reminder of what the band are capable of, and but after that the album turns a bit lack lustre lacking any depth.

I get that after 20 years, you may want to stay relevant, but in adopting so many modern styles the band have seem to have lost focus of what made them  the forerunners of the scene in the first place. Unearth are a great band, but sadly, with Extinction(s), the leaders have become the followers… Chris Andrews

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