The Unravelling - 13 Arcane Hymns (Cover Artwork)

The Unravelling

13 Arcane Hymns (2010)


Progressive rock/metal two-piece The Unravelling are dripping with blood in most of their promo photos, which gives you a pretty fair idea of what to expect from their music. You might call it gore-rock with its brutal, chugging guitars duel with thrashing drums beneath gothy, emo-tinged vocals. But, the result sits somewhere in between Tool, NIN and Faith No More.

The Unravelling’s 2010 debut 13 Arcane Hymns is a psychoanalytical concept album woven together by recurring themes and repeated ideas, most prominently the notion of being buried alive and then crawling out of the grave. This preoccupation with death, and the cheating of death, turned out to be oddly prophetic post-release when vocalist Steve Moore was tragically diagnosed with cancer, and the band were forced into an eighteen-month hiatus.

Moore has since recovered, and five years down the line 13 Arcane Hymns remains a potent piece of work.“Move Forward Until You Are Dead” sets out the duo’s stall with its oscillating guitar riffs and confrontational lyrics: “I burned the bridge that led back home, I tore the face off the lion’s head… I will move forward until I am dead”. “Fire Breather” is one and a half minutes of heavy rock theatricality, wailing sirens and screeching car tyres whirling around a menacing synth riff, and “Victory Song” is a slow-building, nightmarish album closer, resonating with the refrain “I feel a storm is coming…”.

In short, The Unravelling are where emotional meets industrial. Metal with heart, you might say.