Hailing from Northwestern city of Seattle, Un is a band for which metals’ tendency towards overcategorisation serves little but to undermine the singularity of their sonic universe. If one wanted to haphazardly pigeonhole the bands’ sound, one could easily stick the “funeral doom” label on their music with little to no afterthought, though I, for one, feel like this would only serve to narrow down the potential appeal of the band. One thing is for sure, the “funeral doom” genre certainly evokes vivid imagery by its very denomination, some of which certainly do resonate with the basic premises that shape The Tomb of All Things, however my main point in this article and review will be to urge upon your attention in order to truly get the most out of this album. Having been freshly spotted out and picked up by Jon Davis of Black Bow Records earlier this year, The Tomb of All Things marks the debut full-length effort for Un, putting them in a decisive spot for which this first record is to demonstrate the bands’ creative potential in today’s overcrowded metal scene.
The album starts off with the introductory track Epitaph, with its chiming guitar notes and cavernous echoes slowly instilling the somber ambience and pacing of the record, paving the way for the gargantuan Sol Marasmus to come crashing down with its blunt, massive rumbling rhythm guitars. Whether it be on each individual track or with the album as a whole, Un’s standout strength undoubtedly lies with their phenomenal sense of pacing and composition. As I’ve stated before, the real work behind the compositions truly unveil itself through the way each riff and section is articulated into the musical narrative of the song. With every song going over the 10 minute mark, every song takes its time in setting an atmosphere in which the listener can slowly and effortlessly immerse himself into, to the point where the songs seem to pass by in merely half of their actual runtime. Each of the songs on the album come to life and breathe at their own pace, giving each section a striking amount of depth as well as a very cohesive, organic feel. The atmosphere swells up and dies on each composition in such a seamless way, with majestic reverberated guitar leads and subtle fluctuations in pacing and intensity that keep you on your toes all throughout the songs. Frontman Monte Mcclery’s monstrous, deep guttural vocals are parsimoniously put to use to subserve the narrative brought forward by the instrumental work as well as enliven the still vastness of the landscapes portrayed throughout the record.
The Tomb of All Things is a profoundly, visually evocative listen. Introspective, ambitious in its execution, grandiose in its delivery, rarely have I heard a metal album so visually evocative and stirring. The album may seem like a bleak, profoundly dark album at first glance, though the overview of each composition paints a way more detailed and nuanced picture for those willing to pay attention. The album holds a deeply organic and raw essence that will move you and resonate within the very core of your being. More the mere display of heavy and somber riffs, every single section on The Tomb of All Things is subservient to the framework of its magnificent narrative and ambience. To all fans of stirring, deathly musical lore, Un is certainly on its way to being an essential household name in the genre after barging into the scene with such a striking debut effort.