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Unholy New Life Behind Closed Eyes

Unholy - New Life Behind Closed Eyes
01. Seeker Immortal
02. Children of Eternal Sleep
03. These Wounds Never Heal
04. Into the Flesh of Another
05. The Blinding Light
06. Look to the Blood
07. No Faith
08. The Followers
09. Behind the Veil of Darkness
10. New Life Behind Closed Eyes
2009 Prosthetic Records

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 6/27/2009

Unholy's formula isn't overly complex. Guitarists Jonathan Dennison and Steve Caiello churn out massive quantities of melodic leads backed by thrashy metal riffs, while a thundering rhythm section keeps the band on a finely executed track and maintains a hardcore songwriting mentality. And although Unholy's second full-length, New Life Behind Closed Eyes, is most accurately branded as metalcore, the band's deep roots in the Syracuse hardcore scene (primary songwriter Dennsion was a member of Another Victim and The Promise), knowledge of old school metal, and a no frills approach exudes nothing but sincerity. Well, sincerity and one hell of a pissed off sound, that is.

Tracks like "These Wounds Never Heal" and "No Faith" do a great job, using burly guitars to obtain a thick opening groove, allowing the low-end crunch to carry the relatively straightforward song structures. Album opener "Seeker Immortal" owes most of its tricks to Metallica and Testament while "Into the Flesh of Another" features some Slayer-esque dive-bombing soloing. Unholy has always showcased a love of metal despite utilizing a hardcore framework, and listeners looking for a metalcore record littered with classic influences will dig this.

But I'm just not entirely convinced that stellar execution and a long list of classic metal influences are enough to float New Life Behind Closed Eyes. Their formula is certainly enjoyable and would likely destroy in a live setting, but the replay factor on record seems to be missing And then there are a few lackluster, rock-driven sections into which Unholy intermittently dives (most noticeably heard in the wah-heavy lead work in "Look to the Blood") that feel a little out of place. The final element missing is the unique vocal presence of Danny Johnson on Unholy's debut, Blood of the Medusa, as Billy Price now handles frontman duties. Price's screams are vicious, commanding, and perfectly matched to Unholy's instrumentation, but I can't help but miss Johnson's unique, nasally vocals. They may have been an acquired taste for some, but they added an interesting component to the band's sound that allowed them to stand apart from the pack. I don't mean to directly knock Price's work, but a distinctive vocal feel is just no longer present.

New Life Behind Closed Eyes is definitely a well-executed record. And it tastefully blends together a great number of classic metal influences with a hardcore mindset without falling victim to any cheesy metalcore traps. It's just tough to feel like this album adds anything to what was perfected by Metallica and Testament in the 80s and Integrity and Turmoil in the 90s. Was New Life Behind Closed Eyes ever supposed to compete Probably not. It accomplishes the admirable feat of being a pissed off metalcore record with a strong set of blended influences intended to glean a little attention from the older crowd. Not exactly groundbreaking, but solid nonetheless.

Bottom Line: New Life Behind Closed Eyes has all of the classic riffs and chugs necessary to be a capable metalcore record that pays tributes to greats of both metal and hardcore. Yet even though it's very competent and pissed off, it just doesn't cover any additional ground that would make it noteworthy. But I still dig it when the mood is right.

Jamoley Unholy_   posted 10/11/2009 8:51:11 PM
You f*cking shithead. You don't know the first thing about metalcore; we put a lot of time and effort into this CD, and it's one of the heaviest releases of the year. We better not catch you around at any shows, because if my crew sees you, you'll wish you never got out of bed that day. Oh, and to everyone who actually CARES about this record, listen up! Thanks to everybody who bought it already but for those who have not been able to find it, try TARGET, yes TARGET is stocking it for ONLY $6.99
cantfakethepunk_   posted 6/29/2009 2:43:50 PM
i'm a huge gay that sucks lots of c-cks
da REAL deez_nutz_   posted 6/29/2009 11:32:29 AM
stop letting this jerk use my f*cking username
cantfakethepunk_   posted 6/29/2009 9:24:24 AM
there was this one time everyone in the band and stuck it in me and i screamed and they just kept doin it to me and then i liked it and that made me see that i love to suck c-ck
deez_nutz_   posted 6/29/2009 7:55:00 AM
Its actually a great album despite the fact that this style of metal/hardcore is not deemed popular online anymore. Their first album was far superior and I will agree about Danny's vocals being more unique than Price, they still managed to churn out a great album, and much better than many of their cohorts or predecessors. Stop letting this jerk write reviews.

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