Unearthly Trance – V

By Gruesome Greg

After putting out a fistful of splits last year, NYC’s Unearthly Trance have returned with their fifth full-length effort. A slow, sludgy, sixty-minute slog, V occasionally veers into Neur-Isis territory and has its dalliances with drone doom, but mostly mimics the sounds of YOB—minus of course the trademark wails of Mike Scheidt. UT screamer Ryan Lipynsky occasionally channels the tortured screams of Kirk Windstein and the droning moans of Al Cisneros, but more commonly employs a standard black/death metal bark.

Replace the guitar with bass on “Adversaries Mask 1” and you’ve got something that you might find on OM’s latest uninspired offering. “Adversaries Mask 2” is hardly a barn-burner, either. “Physical Universe Distorts” follows the simple interchanging pattern of belched-lyric/ two-note riff, lather, rinse, repeat, but is too short to be overly repetitive. There isn’t much in the way of standout tracks on this one, but rather a continuous, pummelling, ear-pounding assault that only seems to get slower as the album nears its conclusion.

If you like the slow shit, V is somewhat satisfying, but it’s only earth-shattering if you play it loud.


Rating: 7

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.