The Unseen - Internal Salvation (Cover Artwork)

The Unseen

The Unseen: Internal SalvationInternal Salvation (2007)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Operating within the rigid stylistic boundaries of hardcore street punk has to be one of the biggest challenges to longevity for a band like the Unseen. To rehash old sounds, or try something new? That's always the question. If the band incorporates more melody and hooks, they can be accused of soun.
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Operating within the rigid stylistic boundaries of hardcore street punk has to be one of the biggest challenges to longevity for a band like the Unseen. To rehash old sounds, or try something new? That's always the question. If the band incorporates more melody and hooks, they can be accused of sounding too poppy. If they go for an aggressive, a-melodic, "just crank it" approach, they can be seen as boring. And of course, with stubborn punk fans resistant to change, any experimentation must be kept to a constant minimum. For these reasons, if none other, the Unseen deserve credit for managing to delicately evolve and remain relevant while staying rooted in the hardcore street punk they began delivering 14 years ago.

Most music of such a style, including the Unseen's back catalog, is direct and unambiguous from the first listen. No subtleties or surprises, you almost always get exactly what you're hearing. Internal Salvation is unique in that aspect. Even to a veteran street punk listener's ears, a first listen won't capture all of what this album has to offer, and if this review had been hurried for a July 10th release date spot, it may have been cast off as just another hardcore street punk album. Unexpectedly, Internal Salvation is a grower.

Like the title suggests, Internal Salvation offers a far more cogitative and even personal conveyance than the Unseen has dealt in the past. If the band's previous offering State of Discontent was the blunt reaction to a nation at war and a society at war with itself, Internal Salvation is the search for answers. Not content with brash sloganeering like the band's 1996 fan favorite "Goodbye America," Internal Salvation shows singer Mark Unseen's willingness to confront society's ills at odds with himself, for example, the opening song "Such Tragedy": "I share none of that pride / That part of me has long since died / A generation on the brink of destruction / A world saturated in corruption / You think this is the American dream? / You must be so sound asleep."

On the melodic hardcore / skatepunk of "Let It Go," M. Unseen wraps a reflective context around the struggles of today: "These problems aren't our doing / But we inherit them at birth / This suffering's not our legacy / But a chance to prove our worth / So we fight against oppression / And we pledge to do our part / Revolutions not born of bullets / But from a fire in our hearts." The transition from angry rallying cries to a more narrative songwriting approach hasn't been entirely smooth, as the fumbly attempt at poetic verses in "Torn and Shattered (Nothing Left)" indubitably testifies, "Torn away was all that mattered / And all of your hopes and dreams are now shattered / Smashed and scattered like glass into pieces / And now you walk alone / And glass can easily slice right down to bone."

Internal Salvation doesn't thrive from the warm, guitar-driven melodies like "We Are All That We Have" and "You Can Never Go Home" from State of Discontent, but a subltle introduction to new rhythms, riffs, and compositional formulas keeps the songs from bleeding into one another. Towards the end, songs like "Act the Part" and a cover of "Talking Bombs" by early Boston hardcore band the Freeze bring more melody to the mix, but the slow brooding intro to "In Your Place," the thrash-inspired "Step Inside Your Life," and the rolling, skatepunk-influenced drum pounds of "Let It Go" are what make Internal Salvation interesting. In a genre nearly paralyzed from progress and finding difficulty staying relevant, the Unseen have managed to do both without betraying themselves, their fans, or their roots.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
DestroyaDoll (May 19, 2012)

The ONLY Unseen tracks worth giving a second glance(or even a first)are those involving Russo...

anti-conformity (April 5, 2008)


otter (July 20, 2007)

Black forest gummy bears> Pbr> Rabbits> Communists> AFI

damnitsderek (July 19, 2007)

Score is for the Yellowcard post at the bottom of the thread. This guy is fantastic.

CapnHawk (July 19, 2007)

I really enjoy this album.

Anonymous (July 19, 2007)

If you have to dress punk to be punk, you're probably not very punk.

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

my copy is covered in manic panic hair dye, and won't play. what should i do?

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

has no one commented that this is very ramallah influenced. you can also hear remnants of serenity era blood for blood. basically its very apparent that the guys in the unseen are fans of rob lind just by listening to this record.

that being said i fucking love this record. it is supah intense yo!

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

Lower Class Cruxifiction is one of the greatest street punk albums of all time.

GlassPipeMurder (July 18, 2007)

It's definitely possible, as it has grown on me. But you're right, Lower Class Crucifixion is the best.

Torgo (July 18, 2007)

BlackLung, I thought this record on a whole was better than State of Discontent, but SOD had more stand out tracks.

Lower Class Crucifixion = Explode > The Anger and the Truth > So This Is Freedom? > SOD = Internal Salvation

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

This band should also be Unheard. ZING!

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

See that last comment wasn't by me, but it was totally fair and even kind (alot of people have given the band a hard time about how some of the former members left). Musically, I think they have stayed closer than many other bands. Anyway, I dont want to write too much about them on this thread.

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

I actually like a few of Yellocard's songs and they seem like nice guys and they deserve more respect than From First to Last, Aiden, Hawthorne Heights, every other trend hopping emo band out there. But I would not consider Yellowcard to be a great band. They have some good songs but overall they are an average band.

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

I'm not really interested in writting a review of Yellowcard's 3rd major label CD, Paper Walls which came out today July 17th on Capitol Records. I'd be more than willing to comment on it, if someone wants to write a review that doesn't contain the words "faggot, balls, chin" and so forth. I actually don't mind that it appears many of you are vocal in not feeling the 2nd release as much as you did the first one Ocean Avenue. That's fine, not everyone will like it, I was just drumming up awareness of the new release. I don't think my thoughts would help people decide if they want to buy it. It would be like describing sunshine to a cave dweller. I'd say "well it warms your face and makes you feel alive and vibrant" and the cave dweller would say something like "bah humbug, i like the cold and dampness, i'm not willing to try sunshine". I did submit an article about Yellowcard having an AOL sessions (video of them playing acoustic songs of thiers and a cover) and it has not yet been posted......If that does show up and nobody does a review on Friday, then I'll do it dude!

Anonymous (July 18, 2007)

Hey mr. yellowcard fan. Would you like to Review 'Paper Walls; for punknews.org? I think you should.

klonny (July 18, 2007)

I'm surprised that there wasn't some witty asshole to say "I hate the Unseen" in the comments. Hell, I like Darkbuster.

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

Well, I'm sorry that a band has never meant so much to you that you talk about them with friends and are happy when they release new material and do a tour (even thought I'm NOT happy they are opening up for a plain rock band). I think the contest is dunzo because my friends said that he just isn't into it, he said me mainly listen to music when he is online or in is room and while he is happy that I bought him the CD (I bought 2nd copies, one to frame the front cover!) he isn't going to have the time to listen to it and he doesn't want to jack up his CDR drive. So, that's down the crapper.

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

the singer's voice gets old pretty fast.
too many overextended yells. maybe if they were shorter or snottier it might be a little more tolerable. still not bad.

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

best yellowcard post yet!

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

whoever is doing those yellowcard posts is HILARIOUS. kudos to you, sir!

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

score is for the guy below not realizing the yellowcard meme is a joke and posting verbal diarrhea.

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

either that yellowcard poster is
1) actually someone at PN getting paid by capital,
2) a fucking street team moron, or
3) a PR firm lackey.

here's a fucking newsflash, guy: yellowcard is a shitty band full of a bunch of assholes. how do i know this? i got to open for them back when they were on lobster. oh, you didn't realize they were on an indie, did you? yeah that was after they got rid of the first singer guy, who i met in jacksonville randomly one night, super nice guy. and their old bassist, warren? stand up dude. he and their old guitarist ben pounded some drinks with us before and after the show. notice how they're all NOT IN THE BAND anymore? yeah, because the singer and FUCKING BITCH VIOLIN PLAYER are the biggest douchebags on earth, so bad that other members QUIT because of them. so check your shit before you bend over and take it up the ass from Capital records or the band or whatever PR firm you're with and start spouting off praise for a group of money-hungry dickhead wannabes. it's people like you that thought Hitler was right in the 40's.

score is for you being a dumbfuck.

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

Good album

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

score is for the yellowcard post. review was good too. haven't heard the cd, but i'll check it out now

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

WTF is going on with the Yellowcard posts?!

Was that a real post?

elephantdwarf (July 17, 2007)

ct sucks and i hate living here.

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

great work and as I stated in an earlier post, reminds me of sunday matinee shows in the early eighties up in ct. -oldpunker-

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

unseen = fake punk
yellow card = assholes

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

that yellowcard post is amazing

JayTee (July 17, 2007)

Rekerd labuls R teh suck d00d

Anonymous (July 17, 2007)

My friend's and I have come up with a fun game to play, well it's more of like a dare or a "I'll show you" thing....but as many of you know, today Yellowcard forever changed the history of rock music (well to me at least, I know most of you are not yet fans) by releasing their CD Paper Walls, so to just pump each other up and get us really familiar with the songs, we came up with the idea that in one week after repeated listenings, we are going to meet up and take a paper bag with all the names of the new songs and draw three of them out and the person that can write, word for word, the lyrics the most accurately, then the other person (it's just me and my one friend) is going to actually have to SUPER GLUE to the CD door shut with Yellowcards Paper Walls in it! We kinda laughed because I said" Well, then the loser is actually a winner because why would you want to listen to another band" but then my friend said something like "Well, actually I do like other bands and then the player is kinda ruined" and then he wanted to chicken out, but I told him that means he should just listen even harder! However, there is NO WAY, I'm not going to know every word to all the songs by then, I've already started writing them down! Anyway, if you are looking for a new CD to try, try Yellowcards Paper Walls!

CantSitStill (July 17, 2007)

this shit is on hellcat = sucks.

mikeinflames (July 17, 2007)

up teh punx!

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