About a week before this show I got a text message from a friend and fellow drummer asking me if I had listened to Unearth’s new album In the Eyes of Fire. At the time I hadn’t. So I was pretty stoked to not only have the opportunity to review the show, but to also check out the disk. I felt that if Mike Justain’s drumming had impressed a friend of mine, then I’d better give it a listen. The first few songs of In the Eyes of Fire takes you for quite a ride and then builds into frenzy instead of slapping you in your face, which was not that impressive. About four songs in I started to get the feel for what the band was offering, and the track “Sanctity of Brothers” snatched my ass back a notch or two. Immediately afterwards, “The Devil Has Risen” backed up the level of intensity with an insanely cool drum track that filled the void left by the previous tracks.
It’s no surprise that Unearth has named their current tour after the track on the album that caught my attention. The Sanctity of Brothers Tour has the intensity and brutality of the best tracks on the disk. Animosity, Through the Eyes of the Dead, and Terror all performed well while Bleeding Through raised the bar with their solid but erratic spas-o-metal. They are a tight band, but so all over the place it’s hard to follow sometimes.
When Unearth hit the stage, lead singer Trevor Phipps came out hooded like a gangsta rapper, but twice as pissed. It’s easy to get sucked into his energy and mental turmoil that his lyrics are built upon. One of the most powerful songs, “This Time Was Mine,” is about a family member with a terminal illness, and you can see the frustration in his eyes as he screams the lyrics. While Trevor is working through his personal experiences on stage, guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi are just having fun. Those two almost made me tired just watching them running around the stage chasing each other, and without missing a note. Unearth was aggressive and powerful, playing their new songs just as tight as the older ones. I would even recommend seeing them live before getting the CD.
The tour runs through the end of November with the last stint in Europe with Hatebreed. Unearth states they have a rotating set list, so each show will be a bit different than the last. I think that’s pretty damn cool considering 99% of bands run the same set and show throughout the entire length of each tour. The band is also supporting their new music video for “Giles.” I haven’t seen it yet, but you can bet it’s pure evil. Unearth’s emotionally charged hardcore makes them one of the top metal bands out right now, so make sure to check them out at www.unearth.tv or www.metalblade.com.