September 20, 2013 | , | 4

Unkind, Pelon Juuret

Unkind: Pelon Juuret

I’m not in the least bit familiar with Finland’s Unkind, but if the crusty, sludgy take on D-beat hardcore found on the band’s sophomore effort, Pelon Juuret, is any indication of what I’ve been missing, then I suck. The atmospheric, brooding music contained within the eight tracks here is not just simply aggressive, but also well thought out.

The title track lasts but three minutes as it kicks off the album with driving guitars and and unrelenting rhythm provided by Marko (bass) and Saku on drums. The guitars carry a measure of melody throughout, but are not in the least bit uplifting. Guitarists Tommi and Tumppi provide a dense, layered texture to the band’s overall sound. “Vihan Lapset” continues the cruising pace as sludgy guitars and pile driving drums fill the air while the vocals are barked and shouted — and unfortunately get lost in the din every now and again. There’s a burning fury behind this initial duo of songs.

“Valtakunta” starts off with a slowly building layer of reverb and melodic, melancholic guitars before eventually finding a steady clip and carrying it through to the end atmospheric end six minutes later. “Viallinen” is another smoldering ember at first until it’s eventually fueled by plenty of noisy sound bytes and ghetto-rumbling bass. There’s a solid ebb and flow throughout Pelon Juuret that is exemplified between these two songs.

The blasting and ferocious “Laki” is the peak of the album and features burly rhythms mixing seamlessly with atmospheric melodies and some seriously vicious, snarling vocal work. It’s an interesting song that seems straightforward at first, but subsequent listenings reveal much more. “Laki” is trailed by the memorable and charging “Olemisen Pelko,” a song that has some serious weight behind it’s catchy exterior and infectious rhythm.

I’ve got to hand it to Unkind. This album has some serious music and effort behind it. Sludgy and crusty, Pelon Juuret is powered by a steady, often varied, d-beat structure, but the music here isn’t all that straightforward. There’s a good deal of atmosphere and melody flowing through the buzzing din. I’ll be keeping my ears open for more from this Finnish quintet in the future.