Review 1176 : Unbowed – Colour the Soul – English

Unbowed announces its third album.

Created in 2011 in Canada, the band which began with the name of Arawn and now composed of Ioan Tetlow (vocals, Anahata), Alex Snape (guitar/vocals, Gurthang), Steven Rowlands (guitar, Scorn), Aiden Watkinson (bass, ex-Scorn) and Cory Hofing (drums, Crimson Shadows, ex-Vesperia) releases Colour the Soul in 2022.

The album begins with the introductive melancholy of Hero Lux, a composition which quickly becomes more energetic thanks to blast while keeping some intensity into riffs. Clean vocals are melted to powerful howlings, but the vocalist also lets some piercing leads walk with us to the majestic Eigi Einhamr, which lets a weighing dissonance crush us. The haunting sound and the violent melodies will make you nod while Fire of Wode offers a hooking groove as well as a length which allows the band to create an aggressive ambience while keeping softer elements. Stream of Life Flow of Death comes next with a solid sound and a slow but heavy rhythmic, creating this impressive and majestic sound, which continues with The Holy Momentum, on which they welcome Frederik Jensen (Plained, ex-9000 John Doe) on guitar. The song goes back to the basis of Melodic Death Metal to offer energetic and jerky tones, but also harmonious and heady parts, which give birth to As I Step Mountains Sway, accompanied by Joel Violette (Thrawsunblat, Woods of Ypres). Impressive and quiet keyboards allow us a moment of respite in violence while keeping the majestic ambience, which will finally be broken by Home, a composition which lets musicians come back with as devastating as weighing riffs. The contrast between the two aspects of their sound is impressive, creating a bridge between pure violence and more appeasing moments, then The Athem of I reconnects with raw energy. The song perfectly melts extreme aggressiveness with the mastery of blackness, just like on Umbra Cruciata, a composition on which we also have Mathias « Vreth » Lillmåns (…and Oceans, Dispyt, Finntroll…) to support the vocalist. The song is deeper, more weighing, but also more foggy, and it lets The Mourning Shade close the album with an abrasive and painful sincerity. The two voices relay each other to feed the stunning ambience, putting the final point with theatrical choirs.

The universe of Unbowed is composed of an intense contrast. With Colour the Soul, the musicians unveil a devastating aggressiveness, an Old School energy, but also a majestic quietness and appeasing melodies.


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