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Unprocessed – ‘Gold’

Spinefarm/Airforce1 Records
Polyphia, Monuments, Time, The Valuator, Kadinja, TesseracT, Sleep Token
Release Date
Spinefarm/Airforce1 Records
Technical/Progressive Metal/Djent

Unprocessed solves a problem. Do you enjoy the smooth R&B-infused guitar virtuosity of Polyphia but don’t fancy instrumental-only music? Unprocessed not only displays similar modern guitar brilliance, but Manuel Fernandes is also talented on vocals. He is just as comfortable crooning seductively, belting rock anthems, screaming metal, as he is hybrid picking the entire fret board.

Speaking of hybrid picking, if you’re familiar with Polyphia the guitar will be instantly recognizable. Manuel also leans heavily on Animals as Leaders style double thumb slapping. These comparisons should not be mistaken for saying Unprocessed is a clone of these bands though. They carve out their own space and sound utilizing a more pocket-based rhythm section. Yes, this is a band of virtuosos, but because there are vocals on their songs the instruments aren’t as free to roam. The technical displays are interspersed but tastefully done as lead-ins to the real hooks of the songs.

The songs themselves range from R&B ballads like ‘Rain’ to deeply personal reflections like ‘Closer’. The latter song is particularly moving with lyrics like “I’ve been talking to mom but she’s no therapist. When I went to bed she never gave a kiss. She was afraid I could taste the drugs from her lips. I can relate the devil is hard to resist.”

Any fan of technically performed music will find this album to be a treat but they don’t just need that gimmick, there are passionate songs here. The album has great variety and pacing but does feel long at sixteen songs and nearly an hour. Perhaps a song or two could’ve been held for another release.

"Any fan of technically performed music will find this album to be a treat"

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