Fables Of The Sleepless Empire

Written by: PP on 16/12/2011 02:26:04

Unexpect. It's a fitting name for a band who spends an hour's worth in re-defining what the word unexpected means to the listener on their new album "Fables Of The Sleepless Empire", which according to the promotional materials mixes elements of black, death, symphonic, and melodic metal together with classical music, progressive rock, electro, folk, jazz, opera, mathcore, ambient music, noise rock, and circus music (!?). If there ever was a definition for avant-garde metal, that would most certainly be it.

They aren't the first band to put together a remarkably ambitious mixture of genres. Diablo Swing Orchestra's take on avant-garde metal comes from a jazz background, Stolen Babies do the same through a 'musical cabaret' expression of circus-like sounds, and Vampillia market themselves as a "brutal orchestra". But where each of these bands bring metal into their experimental music expression, the starting point with Unexpect seems to be the opposite: they started with symphonic metal, and begun experimenting with the idea of the style by adding in various unusual sounds and odd instruments, using weird time-signatures and unexpected twists to the arrangements to see what came out of it. In the case of "Fables Of The Sleepless Empire", the original genre has been blurred to the extent of non-recognition as the band traverses through their universe of unexpected sounds that really range from mathcore to gothic metal to ambient jazz. I mean, operatic choral sections, orchestral passages, and string instruments mix in rapid succession with black metal shrieks, circus-like sounds, whale noises and a whole lot of other stuff I can't even begin to describe? Just what the hell is going on here? At least you can't blame the band for not having ambition.

Usually records like these are an awful mess, resulting in a cacophony of sounds that's in no way pleasurable or even laudable for its audacity (see: Vampillia), but there's something majestic, something profoundly interesting and genius about the way Unexpect put together their chaotic arrangements of extreme metal and classical music. Although the songs swiftly change between various styles, there's never a sense that this is merely cut-and-paste music. No, Unexpect do a very good job at keeping the listener in the loop the whole time, always ensuring there's a red thread that's keeping the songs together. Sometimes that's something as dumbfoundingly simple as strong melodies, but elsewhere it's the sheer adventurous and intrepid manner that the wildly differing elements fit together that make the songs work. For that, they must receive a ton of credit for. Rest assured this is among the strangest and most unusual albums you'll hear all year.

Download: Unsolved Ideas Of A Distorted Guest, Mechanical Phoenix,
For the fans of:Vampillia, Stolen Babies, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Pin Up Went Down
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.10.2011

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXI Rockfreaks.net.