Mexican metal band Excellion are on verge of releasing their fourth EP, Unsean. The quartet draws from a wealth of metal genres, producing a record that has plenty of quality on offer throughout the almost 30 minute running time.
The first thing that struck me was the album art. It does really fit the music, and it is a thing of twisted beauty. As for the music itself, it is a melting pot of various styles, an eclectic mix that more often than not works very well. There are numerous times throughout the record where a musical passage will bring to mind that of another band. That’s not to say they’re ripping people off, just that they can draw from various genres and moods and marry it effectively to their sound. Vocals are a mix of harsh, throaty growls and deep, clean croons. Some of the songs are immaculately conceived, with multiple vocal and instrumental layers effortlessly weaving themselves into the musical tapestry put forth. That the mix never feels overcrowded is testament to the stellar production job done here.
The album opens with “Unsean pt. I – In Search of Infinity”, which is built around a heart wrenching melody and driven by simple, pounding rhythm section. Excellion do a decent job, although it is perhaps stretched a bit too thin at just under eight minutes. “Unlucky Charms” follows and is a different proposition altogether, with a straightforward hard rock feel, the bare bones verses having an almost jaunty quality. “The Courier” veers into metalcore territory, with its sullen opening melody giving way to some neat shuffling hi-hat work that gently guides the song to its grand refrain. Only three tracks in and yet every song feels distinctive, and you get the impression the band could take this material in any way they please and make it work. “Diablo Jr.” has a monstrous opening, with huge chords ringing underneath a morose guitar line, the bandopting to steer towards prog metal territory. Closing “Unsean pt. II – The Heart of the Sapphire” clocks in at a shade above six minutes. It’s a beautifully cinematic piece that again demonstrates the excellent songwriting on display. Close your eyes and you could easily picture it accompanying a tragic, pivotal scene in a movie. Excellent way to close this latest chapter.
Excellion have done a good job with this release. Unsean has enough quality on offer to make up for any minor shortfalls. Anyone with a passing interest in prog metal with different influences should look into these guys.
Unseen Track Listing:
01. Unsean Pt. I: In Search of Infinity
02. Unlucky Charms (feat. Fernando Obregón of Joliette)
03. The Courier
04. Diablo Jr. (feat. Jose Macario Tovar of Arcadia Libre)
05. Unsean Pt. II: The Heart of the Sapphire
Release date: 06-08-2016