Excellion from Mexico seem to have it all figured out. The quartet is experimental without being over-ambitious, technical while still very accessible, and manage to fuse more than a handful of genres without alienating a primarily progressive metal sound.
Opening track, “Unsean Pt. I – In Search of Infinity” is a great introduction to Unsean. What ultimately pops on your mind and hangs in there throughout the record is that Excellion is a beast all their own, and are by no means a clone of anything else out there.
“Unlucky Charms,” which features Fernando Obregon from the band Joliette, is instrumentally on the verge of tech-death, but is paired with classic rock influenced vocals.Yes, classic rock. And you know what? It works. Vocalist Frozen Chava is among one of the most versatile frontmen I have heard in a while. He does cleans, he does screams, he does growls, and he does it all with style. There is a shared sense of fresh, experimental organized chaos here that I just cannot get enough of.
Djent fans will also enjoy Unsean, as there are plenty of riffs and chugs that are right up your alley. It would be unfair not to mention the guitar work throughout the EP. Frank Marz delivers plenty of tasty riffs and solos. Take the solo in “Unlucky Charms” for example; it’s definitely on par with some of the greatest deliveries out there, and it’s not about the number of notes played. Solos on Unsean are full of life, what’s rare as a hen’s tooth in the world of today.
“The Courier” is as groovy as it is heavy. It has a punchy-punky vibe, and is a great addition to the overall quite colourful release. The vocal style changes at such a breakneck pace that you will swear there are multiple vocalists in the band. And yes, it djents.
“Diablo Jr.” features guest appearance from Arcadia Libre’s guitarist Jose Macario, and it returns the band towards more technical direction. This is arguably the heaviest song on the EP, I am finding it hard not to love everything about it. While not as experimental and genre-bending as the majority of the tracks, it doesn’t seem stale or boring — quite the opposite actually. I am thoroughly impressed with a song that freshens a sub-genre that has progressively gotten more and more stale over the years.
Following is the album closer “Unsean Pt. II – The Heart of the Sapphire,” an emotionally provoking opus of sorts, that is as melodic as it is powerful.
Excellion’s Unsean is a gem. It is super pleasant to hear something fantastic, and this will certainly not be the last time I give the album a spin, from front to back. If Unsean is any suggestion of Excellion’s approach to becoming a strong force in the world of Progressive Metal, they are well on their way to viciousness, hungry to make a name for themselves in the scene.
Unsean is out on August 6th, 2016. Follow the band on Facebook for updates.