CONFESSOR — Unraveled (review)

CONFESSOR — Unraveled album cover Album · 2005 · Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"Unraveled" is the 2nd full-length studio album by technical doom/thrash metal act Confessor. The album was released through Season of Mist in October 2005. Southern Lord Records re-released "Unraveled" in a vinyl version in 2007. Confessor was quite the unique force on the doom metal scene of the late 80s and early 90s and their debut full-length studio album "Condemned (1991)" is widely considered a cult "classic" in the genre. The band unfortunately split-up in 1994 while in the process of recording their second album. Confessor reformed in 2002 and released a couple of EPs before releasing "Unraveled" which is their album comeback. The album is dedicated to the memory of former Confessor guitarist Ivan Colon who passed away in February 2002 due to cardiac complications. New guitarist is Shawn McCoy. The rest of the 90s lineup is intact.

Even after 14 years the music on the album is still unmistakably the sound of Confessor. Compared to "Condemned (1991)" the music on "Unraveled" is not quite as technical although tracks like "Until Tomorrow" and "Hibernation" beg to differ. Scott Jeffreys unique high pitched (love him or hate him) vocal style is a bit more subtle on "Unraveled" and his use of dark harmonies reminds me a bit of the vocal style also used by an artist like Alice in Chains. Especially the title track which has a definite Alice in Chains vibe to it. The basis in the music is still doom metal with technical thrash metal elements though. The 9 tracks on the album are all of good quality but some tracks are not as memorable as others. Just as the case was on "Condemned", Unraveled is an album that takes time to get into though and repeated listens is recommendable and rewarding. Highlights on the album include tracks like "Cross the Bar", "Until Tomorrow", "Sour Times", and "Hibernation".

The sound production is heavy and powerful. Much warmer and more meaty than the sound on "Condemned (1991)". "Unraveled" is ultimately a good comeback album by Confessor but to my ears it doesn´t exactly reach the heights of it´s predecessor. The fact that 3 of the 9 tracks ("Sour Times", "Hibernation", and "Blueprint Soul") already appeared on the two preceeding EP releases "Blueprint Soul (2004)" and "Sour Times (2004)" (albeit in slightly different versions) isn´t a plus in my book either. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved though.
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