Unreqvited is essentially a one-man (and accompanying electronic embellishment) band hailing from Canada.
Disquiet received an extremely limited release in October last year but is now being made more widely available in vinyl format on the Cold imprint.
The ‘band’ present the listener with an array of icily emotional soundscapes in the mode of more well-known entities such as Deafheaven and Ghost Bath. I’m aware that these are controversial names in the black metal world, with many beings of my acquaintance scorning the ‘emo’ or ‘hipster’ approach of such bands. However the undeniable fact is that the music of those artists and, by extension, Unreqvited, will leave an indelible mark on your psyche once you’ve been exposed to it.
The title track of the album is very much a case in point; The track offers nothing new to the blackgaze genre, being very much as you’d expect from this type of band. But the continual layering of sound, from sparse yet emotionally connective keyboards through droning rhythm guitars and relentless double bass to the screaming, unintelligible ‘vocals’ leaves its mark on you in more than just aural ways. The subtle diminuendo that ends the song leaving just another beautiful piano motif is a masterstroke of song structure and pacing.
More ambient material such as A Tear from the Oak has its place here, but doesn’t work as well on an emotional level. Unreqvited definitely works best when exploring vaster themes where the cinematic nature of the music can be more widely indulged. That said, the edgy claustrophobia which introduces An Ocean of Ire, and recalls Italians Ephel Duath, does work well.
I understand nothing I can say will sway those who consider this style of music to be ‘not metal’, or at least not metal enough. But there are real moments of beauty and fascination on Disquiet, moments that are worthy of appreciation and understanding if nothing more.
Disquiet is out now.