The second part of this description, though, is where the innovation lies. We’ve all heard an album make use of beautiful guitar melodies paired with tremolo picking and relentless drumming, but Unreqvited’s ability to roll symphonic and orchestral elements into the music is quite groundbreaking when experienced on this new LP.
I’m incredibly happy to share that I don’t think this record excels in just one area; with some of Unreqvited’s previous releases, I felt the quieter moments far surpassed the louder. Here, they’re melded together so beautifully that they achieve a harmony and a dissonance. For instance, on “Empathica III: Innocence,” I was on the edge of my seat in the middle of the track. Where I figured the drums would offer a snare fill or tight groove, a looser, Tom-filled moment would occur, and I was very engaged, wondering how and when the crescendo would occur. (I won’t spoil the moment for you).
The rest of the album has the same strengths as these songs, though softer moments are given more space to offer solace. Some particularly fantastic moments that stick out to me are the outro on “Crystal Cascade,” the entirety of “The Permafrost,” and the plucky melody of the final cut, “Dreamer’s Hideaway.”
For all this, along with the fantastically hazy and flexible production, Empathica is a record worthy of its lofty descriptions; it is emotive, free-flowing, and succinct. It doesn’t just balance all its elements— it melts them together into an ethereal journey that it’s album cover accurately reflects with its high peaks and vibrant colors. It’s not your local elitist’s black metal, and it doesn’t want to be.
Unreqvited – Empathica (Northern Silence Production)