Unrestrained have been kicking around the hardcore underworld for some time now, churning out near-perfect ‘90s-style heavy hardcore over a slew of 7”s and comp tracks, and finally just recently dropped its first LP. It was well worth the wait. To my ears, the most obvious influence here is Harvest: the vocal style, the open chugs, the dissonant chords and melodic flourishes, all of it is reminiscent of Minneapolis’s finest (including the extended Harvest family—Threadbare, Krakatoa). Unrestrained isn’t a straight-up clone though. I’m hearing elements of Torn Apart, Kiss It Goodbye (whose frontman, the inimitable Tim Singer, guests on the track “Framework”), Trial, Strain, For The Love Of, One King Down, and plenty more of the somewhat less celebrated heroes of the era. That said, Forward onto Death doesn’t sound like a stale throwback either. The organic but clear production helps keep the record true to the band’s influences while avoiding the occasionally thin and tinny trappings of yesteryear’s more affordable technology. Honestly, I could go on about this record for a solid hour or so (for one thing, I haven’t even touched on the terrific, insightful lyrics) but I think I’ve done enough fawning for now. If the above name drops intrigue you at all, check this out as soon as you can. It’s phenomenal.
–Dave William (Trip Machine Laboratories, tripmachinelabs.com)