Let me potentially clear the room here a bit: Today we’re going to talk about love songs. Cool. I assume what we have left are the listeners with an open mind, and the folks who left don’t realize we’re not here to get all sappy and talk about torch power ballads. Instead, love is merely the central theme, the guts of the record, and there remain thorns even amid gazey and atmospheric sounds.
“Beautiful Ghosts” is the new album from post-black metal band Unreqvited, a band we’ve come to like a lot around here, and this collection of tracks jumps right into topics of love, devotion, and passion, subject matter this genre tends to avoid. Sole member 鬼 boldly goes where many don’t, in that more delicate sounds and philosophies are woven into music that still can rumble and dice when the need arises. I just had a detailed dental appointment last week and was under nitrous oxide, and I realized during that procedure that this record would have been perfect to hear at that time as my colorless gas-induced euphoria and comfort peaked. This music isn’t going to get you where you need if you require all-out brutality. But remember, vulnerability and identifying with the heart are human things, and we should not have to shy away from that, no matter how metal we think we are.
“All Is Lost” rushes open with a synth burst, shrieks pillowed behind the sound, and sweeping drama that sweeps you up. Later, the track chugs harder as the emotions explode, your heart races, and a colorful assault dashes into the sky. “Autumn & Everley” has keys dripping into a foggy, dreary morning as everything slowly unfurls, and stylish playing blankets you as the shrieks ignite your nerve endings. Huge melodies and propulsive playing unite as the energy and atmosphere mix as things then ease into the ambiance, calming your sore muscles before the guitars pick up and gust you away. The playing heats up, warm waves wash over, and everything melts into stars. “Reverie” floats in serenity, making the hairs stand up on your arms, and then the numbing increases. It feels like an oxygen rush as all the elements crash together, and the final moments ice down your wounds.
“Funeral Pyre” also basks in tricking keys and synth haze as the shrieks unhinge, and cool riffs work with the simmering melodies that overtake you. The keys become a major factor again, sometimes soothing to the point of disarming, the guitars add elegance, and everything flutters in the air as the track is sucked into a vortex. “Cherish” is a quick instrumental with orchestral synth, flowing into your heart and oxygenating your body, paving the way for the title track that just swings open. Blood rushes as the shrieks explode, punching a hole in the haze, and beams of energy cut through even deeper. Hearty “ah, ah, ah” calls fill your lungs, the dream state thickens, and cries wrench, leaving a glistening sheen on your skin as lush power encircles all. “All Is Found” ends the album by dripping in with a calculated push and calming guitars working into your nervous system. Gothy rushing mixes with softer playing, emotions tidal wave, and your imagination is filled with colors you never dreamt before.
It takes some guts to enter the heavy music terrain and present a record about love, something that probably makes the more extreme listeners want to run and hide. But every emotion and feeling are legitimate, and Unreqvited jump into the deep end on “Beautiful Ghosts,” an album that is arresting and magical, taking you on a journey every time. This is some of the band’s finest, most imaginative art, and if you’re intimidated by being vulnerable, that likely says something about you.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/unreqvited
To buy the album, go here: http://lnk.spkr.media/unreqvited-beautiful-ghosts
For more on the label, go here: https://en.prophecy.de/