With a unique blend of prog metal and metalcore, Mexican quartet Excellion have come through with an interesting blend of heavy and technical material in their latest EP Unsean. With this project, Excellion has given themselves a platform to put together their genre-mixing style which should catch the ears of metal fans who enjoy some diversity with a band’s presentation.
The EP opener, “Unsean Pt. I: In Search of Infinity” starts off very strong with a clean, precise intro that carries an edge that is reminiscent of classic metal such as older Black Sabbath and Dio. The instrumentals on this track are quite impressive and they build up an atmosphere that is likely going to get listeners excited to experience a high quality piece of prog metal thanks to the song’s excellent beginning. Things take a different turn however when the vocals work their way in. The instrumentation and vocals don’t quite mix well here, even though neither of which are necessarily poorly performed. Singer Frozen Chava has a unique voice, one that could be compared to the likes of Claudio Sanchez perhaps, though they don’t always blend in with the backing instrumentals that the band is putting together. It might be that Chava’s performance feels a touch too modern when layered over the more classic sound of the other instruments. To the band’s credit, the track definitely gets better as it progresses and is able to finish in a strong fashion.
The next track, “Unlucky Charms” might not be as satisfying in presentation, though it is more consistent than its predecessor. This track feels more modern in all elements which makes it flow stronger with its structure. With competent guitar work that pairs well with the thudding rhythm section, “Unlucky Charms” works its way up to a thundering climax that is sure to please any metal fan who likes their music flashy but not bloated. Here, the band really knows where to show off their skills while still make listeners hungry for what else their record has to offer. Tracks three and four “The Courier” and “Diablo Jr.” showcase Excellion’s more metalcore side, thanks to their harsher vocals and sped up instrumentals. These songs might have benefited from more progression, though the slight change in genre is still successful in showing the band’s more diverse elements.
However, these prior tracks seem to only be build up for the final track “Unsean Pt. II: The Heart of the Sapphire.” With a gorgeous intro which takes clear inspiration from Pink Floyd, Excellion truly come into their own on this track and prove what they are made of. With a beautiful tone established right from the get-go, this track travels blissfully from note to note. Each band member puts on their best performance on the entire album in this one moment and the results are a fantastic piece of progressive metal. The atmosphere that this song creates in the first few minutes is then elevated to an enormously powerful climax that unleashes gut wrenching shrieks and a graceful guitar solo. Needless to say, the final track is the absolute standout moment on the EP and really sums up what this band represents.
Unsean has its uneven moments, particularly the slightly shaky start, but when the band pushes through and moves towards what they do best, then their talent really can’t be denied. While it would have been nice to have some more tracks that had a similar structure to the closing song, every track here is still a well performed piece of metal. With a diverse style that blends together several genres, Excellion will likely garner the attention of many metal fans with this project, a feat that is highly deserved thanks to their capability to work together as a band and offer new ideas for their style of music.