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Review: Unexpect - In a Flesh Aquarium
In a Flesh Aquarium

Label: The End Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 60:36
Tracks: 10
Genre: Avant-garde Metal


Review online: January 3, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.38/5 (67.62%) (21 Votes)

Here we have another album by UneXpect, this one their sophomore effort In a Flesh Aquarium, and also one that is worshiped widely by lots of people for reasons I'll never understand. How anyone could possibly derive any sort of enjoyment from this idiotic, caterwauling crap is beyond me, frankly, as this is almost the antithesis of melody and good songwriting, and it's also one of the the most obnoxious and irritating albums I've ever heard; a lurching, half-dead monstrosity creeping out from the bowels of the musical spectrum, completely unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. Frankly, I just wish this band would disappear forever.

I mentioned in my review for the debut that the band played a very unorthodox and strange style of music, and they do indeed continue the trend here, although they take it to levels that are almost unlistenable in their chaotic repertoire of mental asylum insanity. Whereas the debut was merely boring and unfocused, this album literally sounds like the band did not meet or consult with one another before throwing down the various parts of its songs, only to eventually meet at the end of the process to record the album, throwing their various contributions out and jumbling them into a horrendous, steaming mess of shit that they never quite come out of. Frantic, blasting riffs clash drunkenly with serpentine Black Metal hissing, while the bass clicks and whiddles away right in the forefront of the production, backed by disjointed symphonics and mad carnival keyboard runs, all of which are wrapped around the dueling operatic female and male vocals, yet none of it is done in a way that sounds engaging, powerful, epic, or anything of the sort. UneXpect have gone too far this time, and any enjoyable moments found on the debut have vanished here. This is a novelty band, one that exists only for comedic value and "what the fuck?" moments with friends or acquaintances, and their lunacy will not carry them for much longer. Being random for the sake of being random just sucks - it always will - and that is all this album is; a jumbled train wreck of silly noise that can barely even be called "music" at times. Melody is an illusion here, barely present at all underneath the insufferable wall of fetid garbage layered over every inch of this, as is memorability - hah, please, were you expecting something catchy? Not here! Standout tracks? Laughable! Absolutely laughable! I can barely even tell these songs apart, although the first two tracks are by far the worst, followed by that trilogy in the middle; just awful, unspeakable crap to the highest degree, no redeeming values at all.

There is nothing "genius" or "visionary" about this album at all, and anyone who claims such a thing is simply grasping for straws, trying too hard to find "genius" in something that is so obviously eccentric and off the wall. If I didn't know better (i.e. if I had not read the band's website), I'd probably think this was a joke band, a big, fat, greasy prank on all of the pretentious Avant-Garde asshats who pretend to be better than the rest of us; challenging them to look for deeper messages in this music that aren't really there, parodying those artists who take themselves too seriously. That is not what they're doing though, which only makes it all the more confusing. The band does what they want, though, which is surely commendable, but it also does not mean we have to like it at all. The band has talent, but it's wasted, as they don't sound any good at all here. There is an audience for this sort of thing, yes, but fuck if I know who would pay money to hear it.

In a Flesh Aquarium is an album that gets points for standing on its feet and coming from a band that obviously doesn't give two shits about what we, the listeners, think, and it is surely original, but once again - originality is not some sort of magical Pass Go Free! card for a band that will guarantee a product of quality or integrity. To be blunt, this album, while defiant and unique, sounds like the result of tossing various musical elements from all across the world-wide spectrum of genres into a metaphorical blender, grinding them up and chopping them into tiny pieces, and finally serving them in between two slices of moldy, nearly stale Pumpernickel bread. And that doesn't sound too appetizing to me. UneXpect have sacrificed musical integrity and quality for novelty bells and whistles, for stupid comedy noises and goofy, clownish nuances, and if they want to turn into a second rate sideshow act, I'll just go ahead and let them. This is a failed attempt at experimentation, and I hope to Satan that I never hear another UneXpect song again. Avoid, avoid, avoid like the plague.

More about Unexpect...
Review: Utopia (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
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