This year, 2014, has been one of many milestones for numerous bands and albums including Boston’s UNEARTH. Their second full-length recording The Oncoming Storm was released ten years ago and to celebrate, they decided to take this entire album on tour with them. I was so elated when this tour was announced; having seen these guys numerous times over the years, I couldn’t wait to hear some of the songs they’ve never played live. The quintet made their only stop in Texas at Tomcats West in Fort Worth on a quiet Tuesday night not too long ago and this is how it went.
The night began with their newest material starting with “Watch It Burn” from their latest release Darkness in the Light, followed by an untitled track from their forthcoming record aptly labeled “Metal Core” on their set list. Up next was the thrashing “Giles” and fan favorite “My Will Be Done”. It was great to see them choose a single track from each of their other records to start the night. Lastly, the crowd went nuts when the boys begin playing the classic “My Heart Bleeds No Longer” from their first full-length The Stings of Conscience.
Although the venue wasn’t completely packed, the audience was still matching the energy UNEARTH were bringing; I’ve been to so many shows that I usually tend to hangout more towards the back of the crowd these days and just watch, but when these guys come to town, you better believe I get up to the front, that’s how good they are. The Oncoming Storm set started off with the instrumental interlude “Aries” which followed straight into one of the most recognizable songs in their catalog “The Great Dividers” which they have played every single time I have seen them. The riff heavy “Failure” was next and was executed with perfection followed by another staple to the UNEARTH set “This Lying World” which I will never get tired of seeing and hearing, especially when the audience loses their shit to the ending.
Before I continue I will ask the question, not that it’s a bad thing, what is the most predictable thing a band can do when performing an album in its entirety? Um, play the songs in order!! So, I was pleasantly surprised when they broke into the rock n’ roll heavy “Lie to Purify” which has some of the best harmonies on the album and we’re played flawlessly. After a minor technical difficulty, Nick Pierce skipped the intro and winged it himself and kicked off the crushing track “Bloodlust of the Human Condition”. Wasting no time, they guys whipped into the never-before-played-live-until-now “False Idols” which is such a groove heavy song and also has some of the most unorthodox riffs and drum patterns, “It’s all pathetically the same” …I don’t think so!! Before a short break, they played the ever popular “Endless” which again contains one of their signature breakdowns that fans go ape-shit over.
The closing section of the set begin with “Predetermined Sky” which is another untapped song for them, but I feel this one moved a lot of people; included in this tune is an epic tapping riff over tom heavy drum patterns followed by one of the most smashing breakdowns on the entire record. UNEARTH then closed out with two songs every fan wants to hear with the riff-happy “Zombie Autopilot” and the circle pit-inducing “Black Hearts Now Reign” which also included a stellar drum solo in the middle by Nick Pierce. This has to be one of the absolute best performances I have ever seen by these dudes and that’s saying a lot having been to so many of their gigs.
UNEARTH brings a party to the stage every time, I have never seen a band have as much fun as these guys do while not sacrificing musicianship. The guitar duo of Buz McGrath and Ken Susi is unmatched. Matt DeVries of FEAR FACTORY / ex-CHIMAIRA fame was holding down bass duties on this run.
Trevor Phipps controlled the audience and screamed his ass off and of course I’ve already mentioned the insane skinsman Nick Pierce who absolutely brought these songs to life being the newest member of the group. If you have not seen them live, I suggest you put it on your bucket list, this is a group you have to see live especially if you love real American Metal.
LIVE REVIEW BY JOR-EL