CD Review: ‘Watchers of Rule’ by Unearth

In 2014, we saw the demise of several bands that comprised the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Bleeding Through, Chimaira, God Forbid and Shadows Fall were at the top of the heap over the past decade. However, musical differences, line-up changes and waning popularity caused these bands to call it quits. One band that continues to forge along is Unearth, who have only gotten heavier in the past few years. The group’s newest album, Watchers of Rule, is the heaviest record the Massachusetts quintet has released.

The band’s new drummer, Nick Pierce, brings a more technical element to the band. On Watchers, the group shows a more progressive edge on tracks like “The Swarm” and “From the Tombs of Five Below.” Both tracks have a technical death metal edge, but retain the breakdowns and hardcore vocals Unearth is known for. Therefore, old school fans can rest assured it is the Unearth they know. However, the downside is that this band has the tools to play more than metalcore or deathcore. There is a sense of hesitancy on this record. Unearth stays confined to the metalcore genre, but knows it can play heavier. Take for instance “Trail to Fire” which shows a strong Gothenburg influence, but is mired in breakdowns. There is nothing wrong with breakdowns, however they should not be used as a go to in every song. Still, Watchers has several great tracks like the vicious “To The Ground” and majestic “Guards of Contagion.”

Unearth is all business on Watchers of Rule, and look to capture the metalcore throne. The group is poised to succeed as much of its competition has fallen by the wayside. Unearth could rule the American metal scene as well, if it expands beyond kingdom.

Visit Unearth’s Facebook page here.