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Unearthly Trance: Stalking the Ghost

Some listeners may suggest that Unearthly Trance isn't doing anything particularly new with this album. It's been seven years since the band's last full-length release. Shouldn't the band come back to us with a new angle, something to catch a new generation of fans? I understand such feelings, but Unearthly Trance has dropped an album that works so well, I can't imagine wanting anything particularly different. The album's title also brings to mind the idea of catching up to the ghost of the past. And yet, the word "stalking" suggests a careful and deliberate following, as if the ghost is worth following without springing some kind of final trap. With this album, the band simply created something more with the sound and the style it once captured so well. It is a ghost, but it's one worth following.

The band was always solid and this album suggests to me that these guys have plenty more to do as a band. We can only hope they will decide to release even more music together. Sure, some listeners want something more out of doom metal, some even claim that it's boring, but when it's done right doom metal can be one of the most exciting and interesting of metal's many genres. In fact, good doom metal manages a nearly impossible paradox, one where the music is simultaneously heavy and engaging, relaxing and meditative. I'm not sure how that happens exactly, but doom metal is almost drone-like in the ways it draws listeners into musical spaces that reach toward the ineffable. I'm serious. There's something meditative about good doom metal and Unearthly Trance understands that. As I write this, I'm listening to "Lion Strength," a song that perfectly captures the mood I'm describing. Here's a heavy and crushing track that also takes listeners into quiet places in ways that are perfectly natural. Check it out.

One of the best things about Unearthly Trance and this new album is the no-nonsense approach to the music. There's no filler and no junk on this one. It's just heavy, meditative, doom played in ways that stand out from other similar bands. Check out "Into the Spiral," "Lion Strength," "Scythe," and "The Great Cauldron." Since you're already halfway into the album by that point, be sure to check out the closing track, "In the Forests Keep," a cool instrumental that closes things out perfectly. I've listened to this album several times over the last couple of weeks and it's solid. Highly Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Into the Spiral
2. Dream State Arsenal
3. Scythe
4. Famine
5. Lion Strength
6. Invisible Butchery
7. The Great Cauldron
8. In the Forests Keep

Added: March 20th 2017
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1813
Language: english

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