In A Flesh Aquarium, the most emblematic album of the seven-piece musical, theatrical avant-garde group named unexpecT came out last year. The music of these freaks cannot be compared to any other band. It is “coreless” – meaning that there isn’t a main musical style. Considering that they mixed at least 15! different musical styles together on their infamous 2006 album, the “corelessness” isn’t surprising, but the music is.
These weirdos manage to blend black metal with tango, death metal with jazz, circus music with ambient, medieval music with trip-hop. They have three vocalists who are able to sing, growl, shout in super wide ranges, from soprano to high shrieks and deep growls, from glorious choirs to narrative speaking and clean singing… and much more. Most of the time their vocal style is more similar to a crazy, psychotic theatrical presentation than a simple performance.
The structure of a heavy metal song is just as easy as 1+1=2. Verse, bridge, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, solo, chorus, chorus. However in the case of unexpecT the situation isn’t that easy, sometimes 1+1 happens to be 3. You will feel your brain aching and you will hit on “stop”, screaming blue murder to those who created this. But before you do something you will definitely regret, please calm down and listen to it ten times more. What will be your first word after it? I wouldn’t be surprised if you would say “fascinating” or “stunning”. But it’s much more. The band incorporates the law of large numbers which gives their music a unique feature: you won’t ever find this album boring. To sum it up: you have to listen to a song at least ten times to feel the same vibrancy of the rhythm you feel while listening to heavy metal. Then you would probably be bored. The only problem is that you are a limited human with limited qualities and cannot adapt a one hour long song. So what remains is pure excitement during each single listening. These guys are (the) true masters of avant-garde music. With their astounding, outstanding creativity, technicality and complexity they surely have brought something abstract, surreal, “ultraplanar” to this world. The lyrics are exclusively written in metaphors by syriaK (except “The Shiver” by CaotH) and every listener will find different truth in them for himself.
This release should (must) change every listener’s way of thinking about the whole world. This album shows that there is a new, differing angle to look on things, on life, on music, on feelings, on impressions, on relationships, on past, on future, on your role in the universe. Hope I’m not the only one who’s having this album as a cornerstone of his life and musical taste. This flawless masterpiece is a must in the collection of those who consider themselves as open-minded avantgardists.
Listening to this album for the first time brought a totally new experience to me. I had to switch it off after two minutes to avoid a massive brain overload. I just needed a little rest before diving totally into the raging whirlwinds of mania. Such an excessive Gang Bang of all Metal genres wildly criss-cross I have never heard before. Those Canadian bastards describe themselves as “black, death, (*)core, symphonic, progressive and melodic metal; classical, operatic, medieval, goth, electro, ambient, psychotic, noise and circus music with an occasional jazzy touch.” And this is really a litotes, because it’s much more.
There are lots of technical virtuosos out there in the Metal scene. But just very, very few are able to make catchy, atmospheric songs out of it. Unexpect manage it to play two different guitar-solos, a solo on a 9-string E-Bass (!), a violin-solo, a drum-solo and a duel of three different voices at the same time – and it still remains a catchy song! Unexpect definitely are masters in songwriting. And their Nomen est Omen. There are countless different parts in a song. And you never know what will happen in the next second. Furious staccato dismemberment with BM-Screams and DM-Growls follows calm ambient-sounds. Groovy Metal-riffs mix with dissonant Free-Jazz, proud Tango and epic Hit-Melodies. There are no limits! You have to hear it to believe it! Each second of this album is unpredictable and surprizing. If we had ratings, this would be a 11 out of 10.
01. Chromatic Chimera
02. Feasting Fools
03. Desert Urbania
04. Summoning Scenes
06. Megalomaniac Trees
07. The Shiver – Another Dissonant Chord
08. The Shiver – Meet Me At The Carrousel
09. The Shiver – A Clown’s Mindtrap
10. Psychic Jugglers