1. Rowena's Song 2. Not For Me 3. The Last Moment 4. Snow White 5. Heaven 6. Supergirl 7. For The Huntress And the Moon 8. The Green Darkness
Another gothic metal entry has been added to our wide metal community. This time around we get a Finnish group out of Helsinki that really does a few things differently than your average Nightwish clone. With Unshine I don't really hear that much of a heavy sound, with the group's output coming across as just a slightly heavy pop sound. This isn't that appealing to me, but with some goth fans it might be enough to hold their attention....for a little while.
Unshine was formed in 2001 and have had a few demo tapes circulating the last few years. After successful shows in Spain and the quality of the demos, the group landed a deal with Crash Music. Now "Earth Magick" has been released, the band's debut album and one that really leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. With this particular genre I need power and persuasion first and foremost. I need a vocalist that has a real smooth delivery and the ability to mix the vocals up to create mood and atmosphere. I need the music to be rather diverse, never subjecting itself to the Moonspell/Billy Idol way of thought, that being bass line, soft drums, and almost spoken passages.
Unshine really just goes through the motions. Never wanting to become heavy, but really not wanting to take their soft delivery and circulating it to become catchy or interesting. Vocalist Susanna Vesilahti certainly has a strong voice, but instead of reaching highs and lows she stays middle of the road, playing it safe instead of reaching out and taking chances. Just when it seems like guitarist Jari Hautala is ready to explode on guitar, the music shifts into the same repetitive pattern of bass line, soft chords, and Vesilahti's monotone delivery. One or two cuts with that structure is fine, but the band relies on this pattern for a majority of the album. The keyboards are a nice touch, almost creating a dark symphony under the rather lackluster "undershine".
Overall this just isn't very entertaining, and with bands like Lacuna Coil, Vanguard, and Within Temptation doing this sound so much better, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of playing time for Unshine. Hopefully the band will focus more on the entertainment side of their musical vision in the future, and create some melody and mood that captures the listener. For now we have "Earth Magick", an extremely dull record that does nothing to improve upon or add to this popular genre.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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