|Review: Unrestrained! Magazine|
Author: Adam Wasylyk (Editor)
Issue #: 23
Year published: 2004
Web site: www.unrestrainedmag.com
c/o Adam Wasylyk
5625 Glen Erin Drive Unit #57
Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)
Been a looooong time since I was a regular reader of any printed 'zines, and actually a long time since I read one, period. I used to read Power Metal and Metal Maniacs back in the day, when they were still worth a shit. But since then, nada. So I have to thank our resident energizer bunny for a free copy of this ish. Let's dig in, shall we?
Unrestrained! Or simply U! issue 23 is 70 pages of metal coverage. (Actually, it's 66 pages of metal and 4 pages of hardcore garbage, but we'll skip that. 4 pages is not so bad.) The focus here is almost exclusively on Death/Black Metal with the emphasis on Death. You get a big article about Morbid Angel, as well as multi-page interview/articles with Falkenbach and Zyklon. Then you get full-page features on: Grimfist, Impaled Nazarene, Exhumed, Arditi, Der Blutharsch, Anwyl, Watchmaker, Dimmu Borgir, The Legion, King Diamond, and a host of others. Plus you get half-page featurettes on such acts as: Macabre, Frightmare, Warlust, Dead Soul Tribe, Old Wainds, Cage and Omen. All this is sandwiched between shitloads of ads and topped off with 5 pages of capsule reviews and some kind of 'comedy' feature by some idiot named 'Kevi-Metal' who tries to be funny but pretty much fails at it.
I'm of mixed feelings about this mag, as the heavy Death/Gore focus makes it of limited interest to me. I am glad to see a glossy mag give even a nod to The Hammers Of Misfortune, but the coverage of actually interesting bands is pretty anemic. The reviews are OK, but there are far too few of them, despite cramming in the layout to get as many in as possible. The interviews are fairly well-done, but they are written in the fake-sounding 'article' style, rather than simple Q&A, and the sometimes gushy tone of the writing makes me uncomfortable. (Do they have a program for that? Microsoft AssKisser maybe?) The few features on bands I was interested in (Omen, HoM) were far too short, and too far between. When you lead off with a big feature on Morbid Angel, and elsewhere in the magazine your own reviewers trash their new CD, I think we can agree there is a problem here. Am I the only one who thinks Morbid Angel are old news? Surely they could get someone cooler for their lead story, as I can see they have in the past.
Maybe this issue isn't representative of the mag overall, but I found U!, while well-intentioned, a bit of a let-down. There were almost no articles on bands I am really interested in, and even more important: there were very few on bands that sounded interesting at all. The major reason to read print 'zines (for me) is to hear about new acts through articles or ads, but the corpse-grind-slaughter-death metal focus rages from omnipresent to actually repulsive. I discovered a few good prospects from this ish (Serpens Aeon – check them out!) but not as many as I hoped. Sad to say, I think either the age of the print 'zine is passing, or I have just lost my taste for them. As the first thing I did after reading this was head for the computer, where I can read about new bands, get updated news, and download actual music samples. I hate to be a net nerd, but there it is. So, bottom line: IF you still like printed mags, and IF you are very into gory Death Metal, then Unrestrained! would be a good buy. Otherwise this issue at least is not a good bet.
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