"It's been too fucking long Long Island, show us what we've been missing, let's go!" commands Unearth vocalist Trevor Phipps on "My Heart Bleeds No Longer," the first of five live tracks taken from that Long Island performance. Our Days of Eulogy accompanies these five tracks with their now out-of-print EPs, Fall of Man and Endless, and the compilation serves as a terrific window into the chaotic metal style of the Massachusetts natives.
From somebody who's seen Unearth live, I can attest to these live cuts being a terrific representation of how they come across in person. Everything just sounds completely on point; the guitars are even louder than you'd anticipate, and Phipps has a real command of everything before him. His voice rips through the heavy riffing, the pounding drums, the thundering breakdowns, to dominate a good portion of Unearth's presence. "Internal War" sounds absolutely destructive live; you can feel the speakers shake from the bass reverberations, and just the overall awesome power the five-piece possesses.
The live tracks are a nice prelude for what's to come, but it's the main source of content, these two EPs, that's really the record's main draw. These are the songs in which Unearth really started to hone their craft. Combining a tinge of hardcore into their metal attack, rather than the other way around, they waste no time with formality, coming out on all cylinders with the title track from Endless. Phipps had yet to truly find his vocal niche, and as a result, much of his delivery is more varied than it would come to be on later efforts. Sometimes deep, hardcore shouting, others raspy, quickly delivered vocals largely inspired by melodic death metal, it all depended on the individual moment of each individual song. At the time, they just really hadn't found their niche, and while the songs do reflect that, there's still a lot of terrific metal to be found.
The recorded version of "Internal War" sounds even better than the live version, as this is one of those instances where the vocals are truly top notch, and the guitar work is incredibly suited for it. Quick but challenging riffs rage over the melodic undercurrents that fade in and out periodically. Still managing to incorporate the breakdowns though, there's some rather large ones to be found on this track, and the followup "The Charm," which could easily be considered the best song on the album. Coincidentally, it's also the shortest, but don't let that fool you as the song absolutely destroys with its unrelenting combination of fury and melody, encompassing some of the best riffing than Unearth has ever implemented. Where things go slightly sour is on the Above the Fall of Man EP, which accounts for the last 4 tracks on the album. Seemingly rushed and underproduced, none of the tracks have the impact that Unearth is so well known for. The songs are noticeably slower, and frankly less engaging than the previous EP.
Some great material from early Unearth, and some rather bland cuts as well, the live songs tip the balance in favor of "good," but any of the band's more recent albums will be more satisfying to even the casual fan of metal.
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