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Unexpect: Fables of the Sleepless Empire
Unexpect Fables of the Sleepless Empire album new music review

Unexpect: Fables of the Sleepless Empire

Avant Garde Metal
4.0/5.0

Different. Fables of the Sleepless Empire is my first experience with Canada's Unexpect, and different is only one place to start in describing them. Avant garde, progressive, technical metal might work. This is a fusion of so many metal and rock genres that it's nearly mind boggling. Yet, certain currents rise above the others like thrash and melodic death metal or symphonic and gothic metal, thanks to the ever present violin. But then again, this is too minimalistic. Intricacy is folded into the chaotic and cacophonous arrangements for a mind bending aural experience. If Kansas were brought forward, made a trip through Scandnavia, had an Amy Winehouse cocktail of mind altering potions, and lost any melodic accessibility, you might get an idea for Unexpect's unique take on heavy metal.

Yet, the fundamental charm of Unexpect is that unexpected chaotic complexity. While nearly every song seems to be going both everywhere and nowhere at the same time, there's an intriguing thread of invention at every turn. You want to keep listening. I found Fables of the Sleepless Empire extremely difficult to grasp early on, largely because of conflagration of eclectic movements and styles. However, arriving at The Quantum Symphony, and you travel on, you begin to understand both the madness and genious of Unexpect. The moments are not merely eclectic but appealing, and the musicians begin showing some more individual achievement. In this mix is a lilting female vocal, paired with male death vocals. The latter is pesky like a mosquito in the dark that buzzes about your face while you attempt slumber. You wish it would go away, but it's presence seems necessary to the night.

By purpose, I've made no attempt to describe individual songs; to do so would be an excerise in futililty. There's simply too much going on throughout, so I'll leave that feat to the wiser and more brave reviewer. Nevertheless, I was impressed with several songs including the aforemented The Quantum Symphony, Unfed Pendulum, In the Mind of the Last Whale, and Silence This Parasite. Also, if there was one performer and performance throughout that intrigued me it would be Chaoth on his 9-string bass.

Mind altering and certainly challenging, the avant garde metal of Unexpect's Fables of the Sleepless Empire pushes the boundaries of creativity and puts them in a class of their very own.






In Short

Mind altering and certainly challenging, the avant garde metal of Unexpect's Fables of the Sleepless Empire pushes the boundaries of creativity and puts them in a class of their very own.

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