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The Oncoming Storm

Unearth

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Album Review

If Unearth wanted to cover a classic Dean Martin hit, the logical choice would be 1960's "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" — not because The Oncoming Storm sounds anything at all like the late Rat Pack crooner, but because Unearth does, in fact, feel like a kick in the head. Mercy is not a high priority on this 2004 release, which demonstrates just how nasty, punishing, and downright vicious the metalcore style can be. Some of Unearth's riffing hints at thrash metal, but The Oncoming Storm is a metalcore disc first and foremost — and most of the bands that were part of thrash in the '80s and early '90s (Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Anthrax, among others) were not as harsh as Unearth. From Trevor Phipps' screaming vocals to the band's suffocating use of density, tracks like "Black Hearts Now Reign," "Lie to Purify," and "Failure" pack a brutal punch. Those who don't comprehend metalcore (which is definitely an acquired taste) might wonder why a disc that merits words like harsh, nasty, vicious, and punishing would appeal to anyone — what do Unearth's fans get out of such an album? Why would they appreciate and enjoy something that's so unmusical? And the answer is that for Unearth and other metalcore units, The Oncoming Storm is all about the thrill of pure, raw exhilaration as well as emotional catharsis; Phipps' nonstop screaming is very cathartic for Unearth and their fans in the mosh pit. The Oncoming Storm falls short of remarkable, but it's a noteworthy, generally decent demonstration of metalcore's harshly exhilarating powers.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Massachusetts metalcore enthusiasts Unearth formed in 1998 and immediately started rocking, both in and around Boston and on the road. They quickly found a strong following, booking tours with such like-minded acts as the Black Dahlia Murder and Killswitch Engage, and supporting big names like Lamb of God and Slipknot. After issuing Above the Fall of Man (Endless Flight) in 1999 Unearth jumped to Eulogy for two albums, 2001's Stings of Conscience and Endless, the following year. Their biggest exposure...
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The Oncoming Storm, Unearth
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