The Unravelling is an industrial rock band that hails from Calgary, and after releasing an authoritative single entitled “Master Drone,” they recently dropped their new album months earlier than expected. Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision thematically seeks to rip through everything you believed and make you question your surroundings, doing so by infusing metal riffs, shouting, and electronic ambience.
The album buzzes with Gustavo de Beauville’s distorted guitars and is narrated by Steve Moore’s sometimes gentle, sometimes demonic voice, which guides the delivery of their anti-establishment themes. The production marks the album with crunchy drums and electronic ambience, which overall lends an eerie and robotic feel to the entire record. That aesthetic works well given the circumstances described on the record, as Moore often focuses on the brainwashed masses and their careless rulers. On “Lucky Me,” he sings “the billions get programmed and optimized, as their leaders distract and strategize,” and seems to barely find freedom in the fact that he can recognize what modern-day slavery looks like. “Out of Depths” further explains that agony, and contains some of their most successful genre clashing. The electronics hum and clash while the deep guitar riffs and Moore’s shouts give some sections an edge, and strutting moments of ambience fill in the gaps with subtle, striking riffs and pulsing synthesizers.
Other tracks where the band notably matches up industrial ambiance, metal heaviness, and declarative lyrics are “Revolt” and “We Have No Problems.” However, where most of the album asserts observed troubles, the best tracks turn their ideas towards action. On the haunting title-track, The Unravelling turn their societal angst into a call-to-arms for something better. In the quiet yet textured verses, Moore sings “There is nothing to communicate, no word to spread, no power to accumulate, illusion is dead,” while the bold, dissonant chorus echoes the album’s mantra, “Upon the throne of wisdom, tear a hole in the collective vision!”
Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision is engaging in how it mixes genres, and the contemplative lyrics can be mentally gripping. Vocalist Steve Moore describes the album as being about “complete psychological freedom,” and with that autonomy The Unravelling creates ample feelings of pain mixed and a robust sense of empowerment.
Stream Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision below, and download it for free here.
Photo credit: Ryan Donnelly with art by Shaun Friesen.