Unexpect – In A Flesh Aquarium

unexpect_120306_inafleshI can appreciate the talent and open minded creativity of bands such as the widely revered Mr. Bungle and I have experienced several of their releases enough to respect what’s going on and even shed the occasional chuckle, but in all honesty, lighthearted, quirky, even comical music doesn’t sit well with me. In fact, I find it quite annoying. Montreal, Canada’s mathematical lullaby visionaries, Unexpect, have been doing their homework and living vicariously through their Bungle CDs. If you could combine the perplexing action in the structures and mind blowing instrumentation of Mr. Bungle, the dreamy theatrics of popular Euro goth metal and to a certain extent, “Prometheus” era of Emperor, you would have the hack-up and disjointed conglomeration that is Unexpect’s debut full-length, “In A Flesh Aquarium”. I am awestruck at the talent on display here and the open-minded diversity. 5 different vocal styles creep out of the woodwork and attack the listener in nightmare like layers, from gibberish, female pitch singing, black influenced screams, choral layering and just plain random recitals of poetry… the mound of vocal layers helps to keep the listener distracted and off center so the equally perplexing sonics can pick away at what remains of your sanity. Yeah… very much creative, other than suckling at the teets of Patton and company, but “In A Flesh Aquarium” is structured to come off more as a colorful, abstract art piece, rather than something a person would really like to sit back and kill some time being absorbed by something musically memorable. The bass, guitar and drum work is all wound together in a seamless tightness, allowing piano interludes and other such classical instruments to make a brief appearance and continue to stir this heaving pot of acidic sonic stew. I’ll admit that Unexpect is far too “highbrow” and pretentious for me, but I have spun this album enough to get the full experience and realize that all the talent in the world really doesn’t compel me to willingly sit through amusing, lullaby reminiscent math metal. There is definitely a fan base for this kind of thing, but really…. Count me out. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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