Cosmic Rock

UNMAKER - 'Firmament' Review


- Pat "Riot" Whitaker



For years now, RVA (Richmond, Virginia) has been a hotbed for ongoing musical contributions to the world at large, a scene with a true diversity intact. Yes, we got the heavy southern rock of Alabama Thunderpussy in the city's past, along with the savage metal of Burn The Priest / Lamb Of God in recent decades, and Municipal Waste in recent years, on up to the modern doom of Windhand and Cough.


Yes, those are but a handful of bands calling RVA home and today, we are here to explore another entity from there, one with their own unique sonic style too, Unmaker. Active since 2015, the band - vocalist Aaron Mitchell, guitarist Jim Reed, bassist Chris Compton, drummer Brandon Whittaker, and synth/keyboard player Rick Olson - have managed to set themselves apart from much of the present pack. If you are asking yourself how they are doing that, it is by playing dark, goth-infused post-punk type audio.


The best means of discovering it is the quintet's full-length debut, "Firmament", a nine song offering that emits quite alluring audio, released back in October. At times this music is simultaneously hypnotic and haunting, rippling with otherworldly nuances within its powerful, heady heaviness. Songs like "Horizon Of Cognition", "Children Of The Clouds", or "Black Ribbons, White Roses" are somewhat reminiscent of Eighties new wave bands like Killing Joke or Bauhaus.


Then there are the more clear cut forays into lively, unbridled punkola too, ala "Cryosleeper" or the very U2-ish "Used Future". There is always an underlying current of psychedelia occurring too, evident at its most vibrant in cuts like "Into The Wild" and the spectacular album closing "Thaumiel". If you are the type that likes to inspect music that is more "outside the box" than much of the usual aural fare going on, then you should do yourself a favor and check out Unmaker's "Firmament".



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