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The Canadian rock duo consisting of vocalist Steve Moore and Guitarist Gustavo de Beauville, has returned from a life threatening hiatus to revitalize the moody hard rock grit that is The Unravelling. On April 25 they released a single called “Revolt.” The lyrics aim to identify and reject something that will lead to an inner change. Does the single manage to do this alone or does it need more time to get the message across?
The Unravelling has a strange perk of sounding like a lot of other bands for short moments before sounding like what must be called The Unravelling. What can be expected is hard rock and prog with a foundation of layers. It follows flows similar to Nine Inch Nails with a few remnants of Faith No More, Tool and even Crossfade.
Their debut album, 13 Arcane Hymns is loaded with a surprising number of hard-hitting tracks. However, once the album was finished the band went on a 18 month hiatus after the Steve Moore the vocalist, was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. Bandmate Gustavo de Beauville continued to polish his production and instrumental skills and in 2014 he was even featured in Guitar World. Through this came a number of works that give the band a jumping point back into the world of music.
Aside from the five-year time difference between their first album and this single, the difference in sound seems to stem from the thought process behind making the music. 13 Arcane Hymns was considered to be a concept album, one that was being called psychoanalytic. Revolt feels as though it flows from one point rather than such a grand concept, unfortunately this works against it.
The trait that remained from the previous album was the atmosphere. The Unravelling is skilled at setting the mood quickly and then progressing slowly. If done correctly, this means the listener is able to identify the basics and get comfortable before the lyrics or instruments ramp up the intensity, as they tend to do with time.
The industrial vibe intermingles with sounds of grunge and hard rock as the track progresses to a final build up and the inevitable end of the track. The drop off at the end of “Revolt” is a little disappointing as a single, if the track were a part of an album it could work really well to keep the intensity going.
The Unravelling has a lot of potential now that they are back to making music and being able-bodied. “Revolt” feels like a new beginning and although it falters slightly on its own it has the opportunity to become a small cog in a bigger machine. Really it is the problem of a band that focuses on progression while releasing a single track. When The Unravelling releases their second album (with this track on it) it will likely have similar songs to blend with. By the time the track is almost over it has a strong and steady flow, it only really quits this for the drop off at the last six seconds of the track, but the listener is already into it at that point, they are ready to stick with the beat. As long as The Unravelling follows up “Revolt” with a song that does not begin super slowly, then it should work as a sort of a ramp to kick off the album.
Is the single “Revolt” disappointing compared to the band’s last album 13 Arcane Hymns? Yes, but that is also an unfair question. It retains the layers, mood, and gritting tasting vocals with only one track’s worth of time to do so. For everyone interested in the track or previous album, keep an eye open for what The Unravelling does next.
Underground Examinations is a series of Independent Music Reviews with the intention of giving new music a fair and appropriate opportunity to be enjoyed.
Review by Garrett Jutte