Sunday, 7 June 2009

CD Review: The March, by Unearth (2008)

And on their fourth CD, it all comes together for Unearth, the heavy metal quintet from Winthrop, Massachusetts.

The March is a quite brilliant 10-song set that finally combines mature and confident melody-driven song-writing with the indisputable power that Unearth always possessed. The band settles on a mid to fast-tempo pace and expand their wings with frequent tempo changes delivered with clean and smooth transitions.

Trevor Phipps' vocals remain the focal sound of the band, but on The March, the guitars of Buz McGrath and Ken Susi explode into welcome prominence. Every song features memorable and melodic guitar-dominated intro or solo work, and often both. Two mind-melting tracks, Crow Killer and We Are Not Anonymous, are prime examples of Unearth's guitars joining the vocals in leading the band's assault from the front. The drums of Derek Kerswill and the bass of John Maggard lay the thick foundation upon which the soaring songs are built.

There are many other stand-out tracks: My Will Be Done opens the CD with a powerful statement of intent. Title track The March aims for a bottom-end sound of tank-like power, while Cutman takes a turn into guitar story-telling themes.

As a melody, The Chosen is probably one of the weaker track, but it turns out to be just one big set-up for a magnificent Maiden-inspired guitar showcase that kicks in at the 2 minute mark and goes on for 50 seconds. Letting Go is a bit plodding, but CD closer Truth Or Consequence re-establishes the overall tempo and mood with an overdose of chugging power.

The CD is produced by Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist with Killswitch Engage, and he delivers just the right amount of polish and raw energy.

With The March, Unearth join the front-row of today's heavy metal bands.


Trevor Phipps - Vocals
Buz McGrath - Guitar
Ken Susi - Guitar
John "Slo" Maggard - Bass
Derek Kerswill - Drums

Songlist (Ratings out of 10):

1. My Will Be Done - 10 *See video below*
2. Hail The Shrine - 8
3. Crow Killer - 10
4. Grave Of Opportunity - 9
5. We Are Not Anonymous - 10
6. The March - 8
7. Cutman - 9
8. The Chosen - 7
9. Letting Go - 7
10. Truth Or Consequence - 8

Average: 8.60

Produced by Adam Dutkiewicz.
Mixed by Andy Sneap.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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