|Unholy - Gracefallen
01. …Of Tragedy
04. When Truth Turns Its Head
06. Reek Of The Night
09. Athene Noctua
Unholy's "Gracefallen" is their fourth official full-length release and at the same time their last attempt in the world of music since they split-up afterwards. They managed to end a legendary course in the most appropriate way, with a third masterpiece in a row, unleashing their non-compromising inspiration in the 9 compositions of "Gracefallen".
The production this time is blurry and the distortion of the guitars is so heavy and with delay that buries a bit the vocals, the keyboard ideas and the rhythm section at times, making them lie a bit in the background. I wouldn't have a problem if Unholy were your typical funeral band with the not so good production that you know what to expect. Their sound is complex and deserves a really good production so nothing will remain buried under the tones of heaviness of the guitars. Well, the compositions are masterful and utterly inspired, so we must learn to live with the blurry production of "Gracefallen" and love it for what it is, a wonderful swansong ending the journey that began "from the shadows".
The big difference that someone may notice easily this time is that the use of the female vocals is more vivid and haunts beautifully the mystic and obscure aesthetic of "Gracefallen" with their cold yet so meaningful interpretation. What is even more beautiful and atmosphere-evoking is the fact that the floating ethereal and gentle keyboard melodies harmonize in an unerring way with the female vocal lines and together they pace as a wonderful duet in tragedy. Of course the keyboard passages don't remain on the dreamy side, they tend to dwell, as they always did in Unholy, in the darkness with their nightmarish and nightly sound, escalating the entrancing feeling of terror that floats in mysterious ways in the air. The role of the extreme male vocals is still vivid, but not so used as on their previous releases. This doesn't mean that it's something negative, on the contrary, the "loss" of male vocals makes you long for them and when they appear they make the whole feeling more intense and redeem the listener. The guitar work remains exceptional and this time the mourning sound of it will surprise melancholically the listener. The echoing guitar chords along with the heavy guitar riffing are here to adorn the soundscape with grey colors of hopelessness and along with the vocal lines, the keyboard passages and the imposing rhythm section the whole outcome is suffocating in depression and solitude.
I cannot choose some songs as highlights, "Gracefallen" flows definitely as one. Its angelic and at the same time threatening aura is a feeling that has to be experienced as a whole entity, not like scattered pieces of a puzzle. So press the play button and lose yourself in "gracefallen" and cold soundscapes where hope has died forever and there's no turning back.
Written on 10.01.2006 by
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."