THE UNCHAINING
Ruins at Dusk (2013) By xDemoNx

The independent releases by an one-man band, always scare me, regarding the level of the quality of the music that they want to present. That fear possessed me with The Unchaining too, a quite new one-man band from Italy. They were formed in 2012 and since then they have released three full length albums, two during 2013 and one in 2014. “Ruins at Dusk” is their second album which was released in October of 2013 and it contains two atmospheric instrumental tracks and five Black Metal compositions, of overall duration of thirty three minutes. By the simple and beautiful booklet with the photographs of snowy landscapes and old, deserted houses, the listener can’t understand exactly what he is about to listen. So the fear about a release of bad quality begins to grow. After the interesting introductive-instrumental track which prolongs the anxiety, already by the first notes the feeling of fear gives its place to a feeling of relief.

The band mainly plays slow, simplistic Black Metal, but full of feelings, atmosphere and beautiful images. The rhythm mainly is of medium and slow speed while there are also a few fast outbursts. The riffs are heavy and harsh while the listener can recognize a mixture of influences by harsh-raw Black Metal, Doom, Horror, Epic, Black Sabbath as also some melancholic references. Moreover the very nice keyboards and the sound of the flute show also some folk references which reminded me of the Greek scene of the ’90ies. That sort in duration but at the same time intense use of the keyboards and of the wind instruments is what makes the compositions to become special. Almost all the tracks last for over five minutes, something that combined with the rough style of the riffs would make the listen tedious. However, here this doesn’t happen as the interference of the keyboards and of the wind instruments, the atmospheric passages as also the introductive tracks make the compositions very interesting and the album a very easy listen for the listener.

The guitars have heavy sound, which reminds me a lot of the sound of Black Sabbath, and although they don’t have difficult or technical riffs to deliver, they are distinguished by the stability, the passion and the atmosphere that they achieve to create to the listener. The bass is clearly audible, it is heavy and it fills the sound flawlessly. The elements though that make the album stands out are the keyboards, the wind instruments and the vocals. It is like the keyboards are taken from the ’70ies, they are nostalgic and they create very beautiful atmospheres and images. The wind instruments reminded me of a very nice period of the Greek Black Metal scene and they bring to your mind images of ancient Greece. The vocals are very expressing and intense, harsh Black Metal vocals. The negative element of the album is the use of a drum machine. Its sound is mediocre and it seems fake and there are a few little mistakes concerning the rhythm. Generally it didn’t annoy me at all but with a real drummer the result would be much better. The production is clean and bass, while the mixture has kept the drum machine a little lower than the rest of the instruments which are quite balanced. The lyrics are written in English and they are not contained in the cd.

The music of The Unchaining may lack of technic but it is superior in other areas and that is what makes it stand out. It is mysterious and it creates images and feelings to the listener. The band shows that it has the talent to transform a simple composition into something special. Maybe the only thing that they lack of is a drummer. I think that “Ruins at Dusk” is a very good release and I believe that it will captivate the most of you. Listen to it and support the band.

1. Ruins at Dusk 01:50
2. Lord of the Autumnal Mist 05:47
3. The Awakening of Fangorn 07:29
4. On Wintry Trails 04:11
5. Marching from Beyond 06:17
6. Shadow Vest 01:36
7. Enshrined in Darkness 05:33