Hailing frrom Wiesbaden in Germany, Unprocessed have been around since 2013, and for the period of these three years they managed to put two releases: 2014’s full-length “In Concretion,” and last month’s brand new EP “Perception.”
Unprocessed play a brand of djent/progressive metal, combining ambient elements and delicately played clean layers over top of the stuttering and stabbing rhythms set in place by Meshuggah and SikTh. The difference is, the music feels much more lush and organic, setting themselves apart from the very mechanical sounding contemporaries who follow a similar formula. While the melodic djent thing isn’t new, Unprocessed manage to sound unique and fresh, thanks to the atmospheres and singing.
The vocal work, courtesy of Manuel Gardner Fernandes, on “Perception” is superb, sounding like a much more competent and versatile Chester Bennington (meaning no disrespect, I absolutely love his singing voice.) The soaring vocal melodies and lyrics will definitely embed themselves in your memory. The screaming vocals are few and far between, but when they show up, they are in the right place and sound, once again, like Chester Bennington and maybe a touch of Chad Gray back when he could still scream worth a damn.
The guitar work is split between the dry and low polyrhythmic chugs and clean and melodic layering for ambiance. These two styles fit together in perfect harmony and create some wonderful soundscapes and textures. The bass is also very present in the mix, which is an added touch of brilliance. You can hear it slapping and popping along throughout the EP, even taking a few moments here and there to be the focal point of the music from time to time. Listen to numbers like “Ocean of Silence” or “Perspective,” and you’ll catch it. Oh, and the drumming is actually real, which is a nice change of pace for a genre that likes to program everything or play it through an electronic kit. This is one of the contributing factors for the EP not sounding like an overproduced machine.
As for the musical composition, “Perception” does feel like one song and flows through tracks logically when things take a change in pace or theme. Unprocessed can definitely demand the attention of the listener without having to drop a solo every few minutes. These guys know what they’re doing.
With the release of “Perception,” Unprocessed have moved out of the periphery (no pun intended) and into focus. If Unprocessed can come up with this great music in the course of a half-an-hour EP, we are in for a treat when their next full-length is out.