Album Review: UN Sentiment
2018 has been a phenomenal year for doom metal. There have been more amazing records than I can shake a stick at. Countless groups who are part of the truly passionate heavy underground made their mark in 2018. A wealth of new ideas have also been cultivated and evolved. For the last few years, Un has been one of the hottest commodities in doom; they are clearly benefiting from a bubbling scene. With their sophomore offering Sentiment they move past a lot of the limitations which defined earlier releases, though they remain firmly tied to their foundational sound.
It's been exciting to watch this band develop over the last few years. The nearly fifty minute set of odes they crafted are absolutely colossal and demand the listener's attention—they crack their way into your skull. The angular sounds and punishing crush of these Seattle doomsters only enhance itself with time. It hints at a band who have the potential for continued growth and promise for bold new horizons.
What is most grand about Sentiment is ultimately the same for their debut, The Tomb Of All Things; it's simply massive. Not just in terms of guitar tone or production either, though it certainly shines in those aspects. It is something a bit more nitty-gritty. The riffs seem to paint incredible skylines, they shift and twist themselves across barren wastelands and hint at bigger expectations. It is easy to plumb the depths of the sea and then moments later soar on the wings of an eagle with Sentiment.
In a scene so often limited by the lack of dynamic interplay, Un turn dynamic interplay into a specialty. The songwriting here far evolved from previous efforts. With it comes the willingness to explore with new elements, most notably Kelly Schilling of Dreadnought's clean vocals on "Pools of Reflection" shows us that this is a band who are in it for keeps. For those fans of all that is heavy, out there, and unique, Un is going to be right in your wheelhouse.
Marrying potent, sonic drama with the dichotomy of darkness and light, Sentiment rapidly differentiates itself as a record whose excellence is impossible to debate. Un created an album that is forward thinking, unique, and full of color. The band has pushed themselves far beyond previous limitations on this one and they seem eager to drive and get it done again with their future records.
It's rare to find bands who are this unique and this driven and who have the same deep understanding of what doom metal is about. Crushingly heavy and almost epic in scope, Sentiment is a sonic adventure that is unafraid to borrow from a bevy of musical influences. Despite it all, it remains a very dark and somber listening experience. If you sit back and close your eyes you can almost see Pacific Northwest landscapes unfolding before you. Sit back, get heavy and fall in love.