At A Loss Recordings

Unpersons are bloody, scraped knee deep in that whole dissonant-spazz-metal that’s done so well by Dillinger Escape Plan, Cream Abdul Babar, Cephalic Carnage and December — and they’re damn fucking good at it, too. Good enough to stand comfortably eye-to-eye with the aforementioned bands as perhaps a degenerate pupil, if not a peer. But III is a slightly messier proposition than several of the above, more unpredictable without being all jazzy, and quite messy in all the right places. The vocals are mostly just a raw scream kinda like early Mayhem and Crass combined, the drums are fabulous — just all over the place — and the guitars and bass are a mess of jagged angularities and total heaviness.

“Apocryphal Son Lying” shows an impressive grasp of Melvins’ dynamics, with instruments slowing down and dropping out at will, as well as vigorous self-hatred. “Last Tear For A Fallen” is built around some truly motion-sickness-inducing basslines. “The Actor” sounds in places almost like Alice In Chains played through blown-out speakers, though they remedy that with loads of heaviness later. Maybe it was just ghosts in the machine. “Sheath” is a lightning tribute to Napalm Death’s “You Suffer.” “Ligature I’m Stolen” couples melodic fuzzed out guitar soloing with discordant and muffled screaming for about a minute. “Beauty Symptom” also does the one-minute song thing, but more in the style of Naked City or Brutal Truth, all off-center. “Blank In The Dead Light” brings grim spoken word prophecies and horror electronics, a la Coil, to the fore for a total stylistic shift. “…Of Silence” breaks up the miniature experiments with more adrenalin-driven moshy metallics and some breathtaking solos, one of which pays deft homage to Daniel Ash’s work in Love and Rockets. The last thirty seconds are pure dumb genius. “Ukiyo, Black With Vultures” finishes the record off by giving in to the collected voices in Unpersons’ heads and engaging in total sadomasochistic metal overload, on a par with prime Fudge Tunnel (hey!); screams and fuzz of the best variety, with not the slightest ray of hope.

Echoes of the Who, Fantomas, Superjoint Ritual, Melvins, Lightning Bolt and Soundgarden make it an intriguing work of musical punishment as hyperspeed post-modernist collage. Or perhaps just plain metal.

At A Loss Recordings: www.atalossrecordings.com

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