I started these reviews in order to expand my taste in metal and do something creative and productive through that. Recently, I’ve noticed that I haven’t really been revisiting one of the key genres that helped me get into metal: metalcore. It wasn’t the main driving force behind my curiosity for the genre as a whole, but it was a heavy influence for sure. I felt a desire to revisit those early days, and through that desire, I stumbled back across The Unguided whose brand new album prompts investigation for sure.
Simply having an incredibly extravagant cover art is more than enough to convince into investigating your music. You eat first with your eyes, after all. But I’ve spent some time with The Unguided in the last few years and they just didn’t work out well for me. Not to say that the music I heard was bad, but it just didn’t stick and didn’t have anything for me to latch onto for the ride. But with the brand new album of “And the Battle Royale”, that’s changed thankfully. Before, The Unguided definitely had some room to grow and had a tasteful take on metalcore that fans of the style can easily get behind with plenty of tasty melodies, a balanced set of vocals, and a general sense of musicianship that wasn’t anything to scoff at. With “And the Battle Royale”, this band has really expanded upon their style and went all out to provide us with a modern metalcore experience that can easily be revered as both tantalizing as well as a stylish representation of the current state of metalcore as a whole. Extremely few records can do that, but The Unguided did just that with their fourth record in six years. Many would start to get burnt out with such a vicious release cycle, but these guys constantly learn from past experiences and then incorporate that into new music, and it’s all come to a head with “And the Battle Royale” magnificently so.
I do my best to give bands more than one opportunity to make an impression on me because success isn’t always met on the first try, and it may even take several to do so. The relationship between me and The Unguided has been a shaky one up to now where they’ve definitely left their mark. “And the Battle Royale” is a very nice album that shows the best of what metalcore has to offer nowadays, and there’s no sign of this band going anywhere anytime soon.
LISTEN to songs from “And the Battle Royale” on Bandcamp here.
BUY “And the Battle Royale” via iTunes here.
LIKE The Unguided on Facebook here.
FOLLOW The Unguided on Twitter: @The_Unguided