Formed in Dublin in late 2019-early 2021 and positively using the downtime of the pandemic to write and record, Irish Thrashers Unmaker are set to unleash their debut album Limb From Limb, and what a great album it is too. One of the most exciting Thrash Metal albums to cross my path in quite a while. A much-loved band on the thriving Irish underground music scene, Unmaker deserve to make an impact to a wider audience with this release.
Unmaker – Limb From Limb (Independent Release)
Release Date: 12 May 2023
Words: Jools Green
Style-wise, it encompasses Bay Area Thrash elements, with a Kreator/Sodom, German aggression melded with Technical Death Metal, manifesting as a hugely impactful Thrash offering, giving a nod at old school but adding plenty of hugely addictive groove and offering a fresh take on the genre.
Limb From Limb is an eight-track, thirty-seven-minute, full-on offering. Opening with To War, which cranks up into a thrash frenzy, d-beat driver with an addictive groove to the repeat, the aggressive acerbic vocal delivery goes straight for the jugular, topped off with squealing leadwork to the close.
Drop Dead has an engaging groove, slower pace, and sinister leaning to the vocals. It might be a more laid-back pace, but it still packs a punch, and the second-half leadwork totally hits the spot, after which the pace ramps up while maintaining the groove.
Limb From Limb is a song “about undergoing a crippling anxiety attack and wanting to almost explode in a fit of angst, rageUnmaker / Limb From Limb as engaging as it is crushing and stress.”
“As the song that defined Unmaker’s M.O., it seemed fitting to have Limb From Limb released as a single right before the album drops, as a sign of things to come,” vocalist Aaron Gilbert says. “It also marks the band’s debut music video release. The track has a heavy emphasis on heft. In a word, you could say it is violent.
“It is the culmination of all your built-up anxiety and trauma until the lid can no longer sustain the pot, and the cap is blown off in a fit of rage. The guitar work on this track explores different genres, such as Thrash and Death Metal. There is also an emphasis on bass to make the track hit as hard as possible.”
I love how it rumbles towards you as it opens. It’s an intense but groovy driver with slick direction shifts and a second-half burst of searing leadwork, after which the pace suddenly plummets towards the close. A track full of surprises.
Next, continuing in the groove-rich vein is Control, a technically complex but hugely engaging track with a surprising burst of soaring closing leadwork. This is followed by the reflective, pared-back, instrumental Point Break, which fully comes into its own midway through the second half with the arrival of the leadwork, ramping the overall pace and depth of the track up.
The compact Rise returns to the groovier technical drive of its predecessors. I love the mix of rapid delivery alongside the more protracted aspect to the vocals, a track that packs an effective punch.
False Disciple takes the pace up a few more notches, and the mid-point drum bursts herald more soaring leadwork. A hugely engaging head-banger of a track.
Final offering, Breathe, opens on a roaring scream that descends into a deep, protracted growl, then straight into one final technically groovy assault on your senses. The vocals are superb across the track, very controlled prolonged protraction, and not forgetting the return of the superlative second-half leadwork, too. A catchy as hell closer to an album that leaves you thinking, “One more listen through? … yeah, go on then!!”
The cover artwork for Limb From Limb was created by Very Metal Art. It will be available on Spotify, Amazon Music and iTunes, and I believe will also be available to buy as a digital download from their Bandcamp page.
An album that is as engaging as it is crushing.