Review

UNEXPECT Fables of the Sleepless Empire

Album · 2011 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Sonic shockwaves detonated once again a long five years after their second album “In A Flesh Aquarium” when the erratic and eclectic avant-garde musical maestros UNEXPECT simultaneously took the prog and metal communities by storm. The crazed and quirky Quebecois jugglers of supersonic entropy unleashed their followup FABLES OF THE SLEEPLESS EMPIRE which continued the forceful cross-pollination of musical genres like abducted animals that are stuffed into a meat grinder and stuffed into a sausage casing. The dizzying inaccessible mess of sound was resurrected for a second haunting like a circus of doom returning to town and unleashing intoxicated circus clowns out to destroy everything they touch with the musical equivalence of classically trained jugglers passing musical genres around like flaming chainsaws. Like it’s predecessor FABLES delivers all the goods of weaving the ultimate tapestry of several metal styles, gypsy folk, electronica and even tango amongst others and impregnates them into a Western classical underpinning that allows it all to explode into one of the most satisfying examples of controlled chaos in all of contemporary extreme musical expressions.

Infused with bombastic metal riffs and black metal shrieks, ghoulish chants or histrionic outbursts of tormented recitations, the unhinged male vocal contributions of SyriaK and Artagoth are diluted in their abrasiveness by the female vocal loveliness of Leïlindel’s folklore femininity and newbie Borboen’s Paganini flair of violin playing with a style more often reminiscent of a circus gypsy having an extremely high-octane episode. In between it all lies the unique 9-stringed bass lines of ChaotH that connect the dots but only after an enterprising journey through several progressive tornado run riffs of spirited vigor. And then add on the strange lethargic intros that ratchet up the tension while languishing in tranquil torpidity before launching into tumultuous musical terror that bombards the listener with incessant excess all the while creating just enough of a melodic hook to keep your head from exploding. Ah, uneasy listening at its zenith, UNEXPECT raise the bar of musical complexity like a pole runner carrying the Olympic torch all the way up Mt Everest in under 61 minutes.

To say the least, there is nothing to compare UNEXPECT’s music to except, of course, UNEXPECT itself. While very much in vein of “In A Flesh Aquarium,” FABLES does seem to be more focused which is neither good or bad but merely different. The main difference being in the fact that on FABLES musical motifs are allowed to retain a longer shelf life as every musical idea in the universe isn’t as prevalent as on “Aquarium” where a listening experience is equivalent to riding in the eye of a tornado and watching all the notes whizz by in utterly unpredictable ways. Here at least, despite being bombarded by the myriad mega-stimuli, there is a concerted effort to let the hooks sink in a little deeper before the ultimate uprooting and casting off into turbulent atmospheric disturbances. True to their vision with a slighty more polished touch, UNEXPECT retain the crown of most chaotic crazy and creative masters of the avant-garde metal universe. While this one took me longer to gestate in my psyche before the alien forces hatched, i find FABLES OF THE SLEEPLESS EMPIRE to be equally as brilliantly inventive as “Aquarium.” Although it would take another five years and no albums later, the capricious creative ones announced that the band would continue no longer. Now THAT was truly UNEXPECT-ed!
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2 days ago
Oh, yeah, I see I can listen to the songs there and buy the digital album if the CD is too hard to find. Thanks, Mike!
siLLy puPPy wrote:
3 days ago
Check out their bandcamp site. There are options there
3 days ago
I'll be looking. I always prefer new over used but will accept used in certain cases when the item is rare or hard to find.
adg211288 wrote:
3 days ago
Unfortunately their official site is dead since they broke up.

Another site I've used for rare stuff is CD and LP (https://www.cdandlp.com/en/). They don't have any copies of this right now unfortunately. I got my copy of USPM act Cauldron Born's first album from there for a fairly reasonable price. Amazon sellers currently want in excess of £175 for that one.

siLLy puPPy wrote:
3 days ago
Also always check www.cdimports.com
They have good prices and a great selection

siLLy puPPy wrote:
3 days ago
I got it directly from the band's site under 20$
3 days ago
Thanks, adg211288. That's usually where I go when Amazon fails. I'll have a look.
adg211288 wrote:
4 days ago
Discogs have some for $20+shipping if that's more acceptable to you. One of them is listed as signed.

https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/2912371?ev=rb

4 days ago
I'd really like to get a hold of this if I can find a CD in a price range that's normal and not over $80!

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