Let’s be honest, Mexico probably isn’t probably even in the top ten of countries that comes to mind when thinking about progressive and technical metal. I’m drawing a blank on the whole subject as I write this to be honest, but let’s give kudos to Excellion for coming together under rare geographic musical circumstances and putting together a capable band.
The band has been steadily gaining momentum since their first release in 2009, and with this EP being their fourth offering to the masses, they’ve helped establish themselves as capable songwriters and have given themselves the ability to share the musical landscape with their contemporaries.
One thing to note before addressing the ever important musical content is the name of the EP. “Unsean” upon first glance looks like the description of someone wanting to be unlike the name Sean. This was my first thought (weird, I know), and while others saw it as a typo of the word “unseen”, it’s a play on that particular word with “sea” being inserted. It’s an interesting title, but I feel it’s caused more confusion than necessary.
And music-wise, Excellion dabble in an accessible form of progressive metal with some djent leanings. The positive aspect of that is that the band keeps the djent on the down low instead of overusing the style like many bands tend to do, and they don’t play a prog style that is rife with technical wankery. The band flows through five songs with a digestible and competent sound. “Unsean Pt. 1 – In Search Of Infinity” opens up the EP with feverish drum galloping which sets the stage for a loose djent groove. Sure, it’s not terribly original, but there’s a decent flow and general energy in the song, which make it a good choice for an opener. “Unlucky Charm” (which features Fernando Obregon from Joliette) comes across as not so memorable, with more of a pedestrian sound. It unfortunately doesn’t build on the stronger opening song. “The Courier” features a more down-tuned and punchy sound with smatterings of interesting guitar melodies. It might be one of the better songs on the release as it’s catchy and has enough depth to keep it interesting. “Diablo Jr.” (featuring Jose Macario from Arcadia Libre) is a bit more focused on the technical side of things than the rest of the songs with all instruments gelling well.
The final song “Unsean Pt. 2 – The Heart Of The Sapphire” is a rather melancholy and somewhat boring way to end the EP. The song doesn’t really venture anywhere in the six-minute time length and it ends the release off with a whimper, which doesn’t leave me with the best impression after summing up all five songs.
The one thing I can say is that although the band plays very well together and gave us a professional recording, the lows seem to outshine the positive aspects in some ways. While I did enjoy certain songs, it seems like when they start to hook my interest, it’s brought down. Continuity wasn’t used in the most optimal way as far as picking strong material to represent the whole EP.
I feel like this band can accomplish more as they certainly have the tools to attain this, but focusing more is definitely my number one hope for the group.
01. Unsean Pt. I – In Search Of Infinity
02. Unlucky Charms
03. The Courier
04. Diablo Jr.05. Unsean Pt. II – The Heart Of The Sapphire
Playing time: 28:05
Release date: 06 August, 2016
Website: Excellion Bandcamp