February 7, 2011

Music Review: Anubis Unbound - Treachery

Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, unsigned metal act Anubis Unbound have released a pair of albums and seem poised to take their skills to the next level. With a name like Anubis Unbound you should expect something heavy, and they do deliver. Anubis is the Greek god associated with mummification and funeral rites, pretty gloomy stuff if you ask me, but I see how it fits with the band. The riffs wrap your head in while everyone else takes turns kicking it. Sooner or later you are going to need those funeral rites once the kicking subsides.

Treachery is a nice dose of American metal in the vein of Lamb of God and All that Remains. There is a strong groove factor with solid riffing, a healthy level of technical skills, and nicely varied vocals which are more understandable than a lot of metal singing is these days.

When it comes to checking out unsigned acts it can be something of a mixed bag, there are wild swings in quality that involve lousy production values, poorly written songs, bad musicianship and more that will just leave you shaking your head. On the other hand you will sometimes get that band that is clearly hungry to get to the next level. You can tell this through the solid songwriting and musicianship, plus taking the time to get a good production quality. Anubis Unbound is just such a band.

The band independently produced Treachery and while you can tell it was not a major release, it sounds fantastic. The band has a strong mix that allows each of them to shine and allows the songs to speak for themselves. You would not believe, well maybe you would, how many albums you have to "guess" at the quality of the music because of bad production/mixes.

Following a brief intro track, Treachery kicks off proper with "Something You Despise." The track has a good pace, solid riffs and gives you a good example of what is to come. The songs all have similar pacing in between mid and fast tempo and keep it varied enough to differentiate between tracks. There are solos, lead breaks and enough technique to hint at some old school Iron Maiden and progressive influences.

Like a lot of music I have heard lately, this is not ground breaking stuff. I have read that this effort is a big step up from their debut and if this is indeed the case, the future is bright for Anubis Unbound. They clearly have skills to improve where they are now, and where they are now is pretty impressive.

Treachery is an album that grows on you. Each listen will ring you some new flavors. I would not be surprised to see them get signed and start making more in roads on the national scene. Do yourself a favor and look them up and be sure to support your own local scene. There's no telling who you might see before they were stars!


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