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Unpure – Prophecies Ablaze

unpure – prophecies ablaze


Sweden’s Unpure have already well reached their 30th anniversary, the band, formed in 1991, has been around for a while but spent their years somewhat in the dank underground. Although the band never belonged to the real top, I could appreciate their first two full-length albums. The peak, in popularity then, was possibly reached with their contribution to the “cult” Headbangers Against Disco 7″ series in 1997.

The band members have also clearly never given the band much of a priority, although bassist/vocalist of the first hour, Kolgrim, does not have a busy agenda (musically then), the other musicians are all three active in both Watain and Degial but also have a fairly extensive CV, whether it is for that reason is unclear, but the last Unpure album dates from 2004. Over the course of those years the band has changed a bit, from a more pure Black Metal band they have clearly moved towards a Black/Thrash alloy. And it is that sound that we hear on ‘Prophecies Ablaze’.

Usually bands that play this style tend to mix in a bit of Thrash Metal into their Black Metal, or vice versa, a bit of Black Metal in their Thrash Metal. Unpure, on the other hand, seem to be something of a mathematician and have seemingly divided their sound in two equal parts, with the first one reserved for their roots of Black Metal and the other half lovingly given to Thrash Metal. Together that makes for a fast rocking sort of Black/Thrash Metal that sounds pretty much in the same vein as Aura Noir on their first two records. Sharp in tone, aggressive in nature. But, while a band like Watain, regardless of what you (musically) think of them, excels in song writing, Unpure sounds quite unsophisticated. Ah, that might not be the best word to connect Unpure or the whole Black/Thrash Metal genre with, but the point is: it lacks great hooks or sharp and “catchy” melodies. No real Motörhead sort of vibes… This way it lacks memorability, the album plods on without ever really getting wings. Of course, throughout the 40+ minutes of the album there are quite some good riffs and musical ideas, but it turns out that these are insufficient to really make ‘Prophecies Ablaze’ interesting or meaningful. Listen to the dragging and downright boring ending of ‘The Witch Of Upsala’, it just goes on and on and totally breaks the vibe of the album.

No, I am afraid this album will not change their existence, not even with the input of the actually always good Invictus Productions label. Even more simply put: after having had 19 years to write and refine an album, we should surely have expected something more.


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