Release date: Date: February the 24th 2017
If your band is playing dissonant death metal, the chance of me reviewing that record increases by 5436457657123367%. I was attracted by this band as soon as I realised that Sunless’ Urraca was mixed and mastered by none else than Colin Marston. It’s really great to know that there are still young bands with debut albums as good as if they were done by metal veterans with a dozen records in their career. Now, let’s get to the point! Sunless is a dissonant death metal trio coming from Minneapolis, Minesota. Funny thing is that the band’s mastermind is their bass player, Mitch Schooler. Their frontman, Lucas Scott is involved in bands like Australis and Pestifire (sideprojects). But still, his new band has nothing to do with casual technical death metal. In fact, we are talking about a dissonant, noisy, in-your-face, and above all, apocalyptic sounding band – Sunless. Their debut album, Urraca is one of those records that you either fall in love with the moment you hear them, or you just push them aside. The term itself is a Spanish word for Magpie. And basically, the album is about the Anasazi people living on the Urraca mesa in New Mexico.
The first song on Urraca is called Wishes fallen on deafen ears. The crazy intro riff will instantly get you focused on listening to this beast! Lucas’ vocals irresistably remind me of Cynic’s Focus, or to be more precise, of Paul Masvidal’s death metal growls. And that’s a huge compliment indeed! The song is going through tempo changes from ultra fast to slow and then to ultra fast again! Bands like this don’t play open string breakdowns! But still, Sunless guys are experts for creating a dark atmosphere that compliments their slower riffs. The bass sound is absolutely amazing!!! It really brings the creepiness to a new level with that tone! Gathering at the Skull’s Eye is more of a straight forward, in-your-face song with a riff that sounds like a train wreck! And it’s a combination of "light weight“ riffs and heavy as fuck drumming. Abberant clime’s riff irresistably reminds me of Gorguts’ La Vie est prelude...La mort oragasme! riff. And yet, this one kinda has this Dysrhythmia vibe attached to it because of millions of guitar bends that, along with noisy dissonant chords, became common on this record and also a trademark of Sunless’ sound. Born of Clay really sticks out from the rest of the songs on this album because of its wierd and creepy as fuck chord progressions topped by furious blast beats. Their drummer Ben Iburg sounds like a beetle on amphetamine. And again, death metal madness is suddenly interrupted by this beautiful and seductive ambiental part. Too bad it’s short. And then the band bursts into fury and the song sounds like the universe is falling apart! Obsidian Wing is opened by this mesmerizing chord that is soon to be ripped apart when dissonance kicks in! I guess that Sunless guys can break things in half with their noisy chords! Windswept Rock differs from the rest of the catalogue for its open string riff combined with pure noise. The Ancient Ones opening riff has this Dysrhythmia /Vaura vibe that evolves into a dissonant monster within a second. Magpie is kinda strange because one note open string hammering and melodic riffs are uncommon on this record. But yes, the song is still dissonant and noisy as fuck! The last one on Urraca is called Disintegration of Man. Prepare for a death metal whipping! That’s definitely one of the most brutal tunes on this record!
So, Sunless is mandatory for all those who like bands like Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Deathspell Omega, Gigan, Artificial Brain, Coma Cluster Void, Teramobil, Pyrrhon, Nero Di Marte, Baring Teeth etc. Even though they are under less than 2000 likes on facebook, they deserve your attention!
P.S. Keep it dissonant, children!