"The truth is Unspoken..."
While Unspoken is Mezarkabul's debut release, technically speaking they have one other release. The original name of this fantastic band is Pentagram (which is what they're still called here in Turkey), but they had to change names because of legal reasons. There are two other bands with the name Pentagram, one from the USA and one from Chile. Mezarkabul's previous album, Anatolia, was released through Century Media under their original moniker, but Unspoken has been released on Noise Records.
Without doubt, Mezarkabul is the greatest and most original Heavy Metal band that has emerged from Turkey. They started out way back in the mid-80's as a speed/thrash metal band when they were all teenagers but slowly developed their own unique sound , and are currently one of the best bands with subtle Middle Eastern influences, lots of Turkish tradional instruments, a brilliant sense of production and melody in their songs, and above all very talented musicians.
Unspoken sees the band further developing their unique musical vision which they started on Anatolia in 1997. Their music, however, is still rock solid with plenty of oriental motifs and a plethora of interesting melodies played by interesting instruments, such as 'ney' and 'zurna'. It's hard to explain them- you have to hear them to believe how much they add to the compositions. At its core, Unspoken is Heavy Metal with skull-crushing riffs that sometimes pleasantly border into old school doom as in the title track and the opening riff of "Pain" (one of the heaviest songs ever!). However, the band being speed/thrash rooted, there are also slight nuances of Thrash Metal to be found here, but not excessively, and some [Morgana] Lefay-like vibes. Not that the two bands sound remotely similar, but their 'heaviness' is characterized by the same elements: power, honesty and integrity.
"In Esir Like an Eagle" and "Lions in a Cage" would be great choices to represent this album. Both are heavy and melodic metal anthems with hooks, gripping choruses, fantastic bass guitar and powerful vocals. Hakan Utangac, the guitarist, adds to each and every track with his Iommi-like riffs, only in a Middle Eastern key. "Lions in a Cage" is a very interesting track, just when you think it's going to end, the song is sliced with a fiery guitar solo and then the sad ney instrument respectively. "For the One Unchanging" and "Pain" are my favourite songs on this album, though quite uncommon for a Mezarkabul fan, mainly because of vocalist Murat Ilkan's jaw-dropping performance. Murat is a very articulate singer; he can shift from smooth singing to face-ripping high screams effortlessly. Check out the "Darkness kill my Paiiiiiiiiiin!" scream which always takes me back to Dio's scream on Strange Highways.
There are two instrumental tracks which add to Unspoken's brilliance. Both songs clocking in at nearly eight minutes and display the band's ability to compose well-thought, multi-textured music, interlocking melodic guitar riffing with ney (and zurna on the closing track "For Those Who Died Alone") and are engulfed in atmospheric keyboards. Keys aren't too heavy in this album, only on the title track, but their impact is huge! I love how the soft ney delves into the merciless thrash riff and then goes back to its sad tone. This could really bring tears to your eyes. I know very few Heavy Metal bands who can write such touching instrumental music without relying on showing off their advanced technicality.
"Take My Time" is perhaps the heaviest song on the album and is graced by a fantastic guitar solo in the end. "This Too Will Pass", on the other hand, is catchy yet HEAVY, with hooks and an accessible melody line. "Puratu" is the first part of an Anatolian theme and its complementing part, "Tigris", was released a year after on the band's all Turkish album, Bir. The production is crystal clear, with much attention to details, and the mix is crisp and fresh. Also note that the album was mastered at the famous Abbey Road Studios in England. It would be in your best interest to give this band a listen. They are original, accessible and incredibly talented, and this CD is highly recommended.
01. We Come From Nowhere
02. In Esir Like An Eagle
04. Lions In A Cage
05. For The One Unchanging
07. Take My Time
10. This Too Will Pass
11. For Those Who Died Alone