The Great Unseen

Written by: SC on 07/08/2013 21:55:49

Petroglyph’s is a type of writing from ancient Egypt, which is widely known for its cryptic and characteristic pictorial appearance. However, when letting the “e” and the “t” switch place in the name you will get Pteroglyph, which is the name of singer and guitarist Jimmy MacGregor's metal project. He founded the band to pursue his solo ambitions after being a long time Mishkin member. Like the name of the band is a complex, so is the rest of the EP called “The Great Unseen”. It consists of one track that is divided into three different soundscapes, which MacGregor describes as parts, and it has a running time of approximately 14 minutes. The opening sound is an electronic sound that is quickly replaced with heavily chopping down tuned guitars and growling vocals that continue for about 30 seconds and then the soundscape changes to a more fragile state with clean vocals and brighter notes. As this indicates, you will be introduced to several genres, like industrial, djent and melodic death metal.

While it is indeed MacGregor’s ambition to embrace this many different elements, it is way too many in my opinion. While mixing the drums, the bass drum has got a bit too much volume for my taste, causing them to be almost too dominant, taking focus from the otherwise quite nice guitars. Vocal-wise the growling vocal fits just perfect into the dark atmosphere that most of the EP consists of and is rather well executed. However, the clean vocals are so badly sung that I actually had to press “pause” several times while listening to it. In my opinion, I think this is one of the worst vocal performances I have ever heard on a release, and I am so sorry if I am offending any fans out there, but every time MacGregor tries to reach higher notes his voice just becomes more false.

To summarize the three parts of “The Great Unseen” can in my eyes be done this way. Part one is a hard chopping metalcore part that implements some electronic sounds combined with a more melodic chorus with the clean vocal. Part two is more of a melodic death metal part that starts a bit fragile and ends up as a grand soundscape with some choir and the worst of the clean vocal performances. Part three is an industrial part that uses samples and weird radio clips on a base of MacGregor’s drumming. Once again the grandiose expression is in focus in a sort of dystopian manner and this part is in my eyes the most exciting because of its scary soundscape that lets your mind fly away while imagining what could be a scenario of a city totally destroyed by warfare. Fantastic! However, that clean voice is just so horrible in my eyes and therefore I cannot give a higher rating than this. Sorry.


Download: The Great Unseen, Part 1-3
For The Fans Of: Devin Townsend, Gojira, Sylosis

Release Date 26.08.2013
Red Tower Records

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