Canadian industrial rock band The Unravelling recently released their second single, “Master Drone,” since the release of their 2010 debut album, 13 Arcane Hymns. The next year, the band was forced to take a hiatus when vocalist Steve Moore began a battle with cancer, which left him in surgery and recovery for a year and a half. Now that his strength has returned, he and Gus De Beauville have picked up where they left off in producing haunting tunes. The band takes cues from industrial and metal, mixing ambiance and heavy riffs with messages about the surreal reality we live in.
This single in particular has a fitting title, as it eludes to the idea that even people who believe they are in charge are being controlled in a mysterious sense. Moore woefully sings, “Singing the songs that everyone knows / Dancing in time like a marionette / Always at war with an unknown foe / Paying off an inherited debt / You may be a Master Drone / But you’re still under control ,” reflecting on the nature of humanity and our programming. The song moves along with chugging guitar riffs and a mix of clean and harsh vocals. The rhythm section is a simple backdrop, keeping your attention on the nightmarish landscape that the dissonant piano creates along with the dark guitar and impassioned vocals.
The Unravelling have carved out an intersection between industrial and metal that is marked by thoughtful words, slow yet brutal riffs, and electronic sounds that add texture to the mix. The band is appealing for its creativity, but at times the song feels like it could be more explosive or dynamic to match the urgency of the lyrics. However, there is a natural tension in the rhythm of the song that is mesmerizing and aids in conveying their unnerving message.
Below, listen to their newest singles, “Master Drone” and “Revolt,” as well as their 2010 full-length, 13 Arcane Hymns. Download for name-your-own-price on bandcamp.
Photo Credit: Gil Katerynych