I'll be honest, I'd never heard of Montreal's Derelict before...but damn if I'm not paying attention now! Unspoken Words is the Canadian death metal act's latest on Year of the Sun, and it's an absolute scorcher for fans of classic Death, Arch Enemy, Arsis, and Strapping Young Lad. That's right, expect plenty of intricate, almost thrash styled guitar work here, blazing drum barrages, a wealth of melody, and very solid vocal growls & screams.
Much like fellow Canadians Into Eternity and Divinity, Derelict have a knack for churning out pretty complex extreme metal with just enough melody to keep things interesting. Eric Burnet's wide variety of vocal styles adds a great element here, though he's most successful at the higher pitched Chuck Schuldiner-meets-Angela Gossow growl, best heard on crushers like "Forth with the Heard", "Pirates", and the masher "Xenocide". He pairs up with Daryl Brunetti for a fine guitar tandem, as the two axe masters deliver a non-stop assault of complex yet brutal riffery that owes just as much to the thrash scene as it does to technical death metal. As solid as all these players are, it's the acrobatic rumbles of bass player Louis-Philippe Roy and the incredible drum forays of Jordan Perry that really takes Unspoken Words to another level. These two are all over the 5-part title suite, laying down blinding, complex rhythms underneath a boiling, churning torrent of guitar riffery and evil vocal styles. This epic is quite the barnburner, with plenty of stop/start passages and dizzying guitar pyrotechnics, sure to please fans of more technical metal fare.
I have to say, Unspoken Words surprised the hell out of me, a very solid and enjoyable technical metal release that wandered in from left field, crossed home plate and delivered the winning run. Once again, another of those releases from 2009 that didn't make its way to my review plate till just recently-better late than never!
1) Machete 3:15
2) Pirates 4:28
3) Summoning the Firestorm 3:30
4) Forth With the Herd 5:58
5) Polarized 3:45
6) Xenocide 4:01
7) The Blood of Life 4:03
8) Unspoken Words Part 0: Ripe With Martyrs 0:41
9) Unspoken Words Part 1: Demonizing 6:52
10) Unspoken Words Part 2: Never Reborn 3:55
11) Unspoken Words Part 3: Surrounded by Decline 4:42
12) Unspoken Words Part 4: The Names of the Dead 2:52