Reviews : Albums : Unexpect, "In a Flesh Aquarium"

Unexpect, "In a Flesh Aquarium"

OK, first I'm just going to rattle off a quick story about the first time I heard these guys. Back in March of this year I went to see The Gathering, who I am a huge fan of. Unexpect and Giant Squid opened. Unexpect were on first and I showed up about halfway through their set. It was impossible to see what was going on and not immediately wonder, "Mother of twelve bastards, what madness is this?" I saw seven bizarre human beings on stage, one had a violin, and the bassist was playing what appeared to be a surfboard with stings on it. It was actually a 9-string bass, but the fretboard could have been used to bridge Manhattan to New Jersey. The music coming from them was the stuff of anarchy itself. By the end of the set I had no idea what I'd just seen, but I was a fan. Even managed to talk to singer Ležlindel for a minute, though nothing all that interest came out of it. I just had to flirt with the cute French-Canadian a bit. (I got nowhere of course.) I picked up both records they had for sale that night and was forever a convert. When I found out we had this available for review I jumped on it the way I would a redheaded lass.

Here are my findings. I still have no idea what to say about them. The overall sound reminds me of a car crash between Cradle of Filth and The Dresden Dolls with Cristina Scabbia and Les Claypool randomly joining in on the fun. Or you could just call this the soundtrack to the most twisted circus in history. The Cirque du Soleil, under the administration of Satan. They also like to get a little jazzy now and then. There is too much for the mind to comprehend going on here. This is easily the most out of control record I've heard this year. Something in the water in Quebec methinks, between these guys, Gorguts, Cryptopsy and of course Voivod there is something there that lends itself to insane records. Vocally Unexpect use three kinds of vocals, the lovely clean singing of Ležlindel, who also contributes some sinister rasping, along with the lower deathgrowls of guitarists Syriak and Artagoth. The bass is the funkiest thing I've ever heard in ages. Don't ask me how they manage to combine with blasting death metal, for I still haven't a clue. Adding a violin and keyboards to the madness makes this album very hard on the brain. However they don't have quite enough going in the band so they added a few guest instruments, namely a cello and saxophone. The sax mainly comes into play on the song Megalomaniac Trees, when out of nowhere the album feels like John Zorn walked into the room. I'm in danger of writing a seriously awful review here since there is too much going on here to be accurately described. Definitely try this out though, love it or hate it you haven't heard anything like it before. I've been into metal for over fifteen years and I haven't heard this before. Now if you'll pardon me, I need to lie down.