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Unhold : Here Is The Blood

Capable of both Post-Core assault and softer, more melodic moments, veteran Swiss band Unhold offer an intriguing latest full-length.

Another release from Czar of Bullets, and another album of Swiss experimental Post-Metal. Almost immediately the female vocals of Miriam Wolf are adding weight to my previous assertions of just how eclectic-sounding many of the bands on Frederyk Rotter's label really are. Sure, Unhold are soon strutting a decent enough Post-Core template, but over the recording they carve out a path at times delightfully idiosyncratic, as well as being wholly passionate and atmospheric into the bargain.

As much as Unhold base their compositions around the guitar riffs, it's actually the umbrella of keyboards, comprised either of lead piano or string-like orchestrations, that provide an added depth and weight to the songs along with the dream-like vocals of Wolf. At times she brings an almost Shoegaze quality to some of the proceedings. It's most welcome, and along with the versatility of the other vocalists she helps to lift the band out of the trough of generic also-rans. In places the music shares some of the tribalism and off-kilter experimentalism of the Neurosis/Jarboe collaboration but remains far less acerbic in delivery even when the band are engaged in a full on Post-Hardcore assault. Unhold have a softer side they're not afraid to let seep through the layers of Sludge from time to time.

'Here Is The Blood''s title and artwork suggests a kind of sacrificial offering, and from the heartfelt lyrics through the pounding music you get the feeling something is being exorcised here. Post-Metal is a loud and aggressive beast for sure, but is often best served when the overt bludgeoning is dialed down from time to time in favour of a more dualistic approach. Call it what you will, light and shade, heavy and soft, when it's done well the overall atmosphere is no less intense and often becomes even more intriguing and suspenseful. Unhold present with all of that, and often twist the listeners ears with the odd suprise or two at just the right moment when lesser acts would be content to keep ploughing the same old furrows into oblivion.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Attaining The Light
2. Convoy
3. Deeper In
4. Curse Of The Dime
5. Hunter
6. Pale
7. Altar
8.The Chronic Return

Duration : Approx. 49 minutes

Visit the Unhold bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-04-08 by Matt Halsey
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