Unearth The Kings
And Yet It Moves
18th December 2014 - Self-released
01. Saturday Night Hero
02. Rocks, Boulders, Mountains
Everyone likes surprises – and with minimal fanfare just before Christmas, the members of Unearth The Kings released their debut EP And Yet It Moves, via their existing social networks. This was possible as the band, currently a trio, are something of a supergroup. Singer Ali Ross is from Cars On Fire, guitarist Owen Packard made his name with alt-metal legends earthtone9 and drummer Jason Bowld has spent time in crossover pioneers Pitchshifter and Axewound, along with a lengthy and distinguished list of session engagements.
Owen and Jason were (are?) also part of the sprawling, many-headed This Is Menace, whose member list reads like a directory of British metal in the early noughties – and this shared history is probably a main reason why And Yet It Moves sounds far more cohesive than your average debut release.
But there’s one word that steps up and smacks you stoutly on the nose while listening to And Yet It Moves: riffs. And I mean RRRRRIFFS. There are a quite astonishing number of examples of high-quality, lip-curling riffery crowbarred into this devastatingly short, three track, fourteen minute release. Owen’s distinctive guitar techniques almost inevitably push the band’s sound into earthtone9 territory – and particularly that of latest album IV - however, Unearth the Kings’ sound also has more a obvious hardcore influence.
And that distinction is given fuel by Ali’s vocals, barking his way through verses of slightly tongue in cheek lyrics (for example, from “Saturday Night Hero“: “Check out my beard and my brand new shirt, and fucking listen to my stories of the times I was hurt. Oh my god I’m a complete cunt, I’ve got my balls at my back and my ass at the front…” ) as well as big, hooky choruses that have ‘earworm’ stamped all over them. Particularly on “Kingmaker“, these vocal lines go some way to make Unearth the Kings sound quite like Skindred with all the ragga sucked out. I know; I’m as surprised as you are.
With this heady, high-octane collision of alt-metal and melodic hardcore, Unearth the Kings show us what metalcore could be if it ever finds its way out of the cul de sac of overblown machismo and directionless breakdowns it has been lost in recently. And Yet It Moves displays an energy and passion that bands literally half the age of Unearth the Kings’ members would kill to capture. The tempo only really drops for the positively towering introduction to “Rocks, Boulders, Mountains” before the band are off again in thrilling full flight.
Reading between the lines, the only real cloud on the horizon is that the emergence of this new project may mean that we won’t be seeing much activity from the earthtone9 camp in the near future, but And Yet It Moves remains both an unexpected and unqualified delight.
They say that one of the keys to successful entertainment is to always leave the audience wanting more, so in releasing an EP that can be listened to four times in an hour with enough time to go and make a coffee left over, Unearth the Kings have definitely taken that advice to heart. More please. And soon.
<Drums fingers on desk impatiently>
And Yet It Moves is available on a Name Your Price basis from Unearth the Kings’ Bandcamp page: