The Unconscious Mind-Where Philosophers Fall
The Unconscious Mind are a relatively new act that features Derelict guitarist Simon Cléroux within it's ranks.The band, who are said to hail from the "South Shore Of Montreal", first hit the scene with a 2009 demo, "Witness the Madness", before self-releasing this 10-track album back in 2012. CDN Records has picked up the physical distribution of "Where Philosophers Fall" in the hopes that The Unconscious Mind can reach a broader audience. The album art alone should clue you in as far as what waits the listener with "Where Philosophers Fall". If you said black metal then you get a gold star! If you said black metal plus elements of death metal, progressive thrash and symphonic metals then give yourself two gold stars!!!! "Where Philosophers Fall", which updates tracks from the band's earlier demo and adds in six new tracks, features the utterly creepy vocals of one Louis-Paul Gauvreau. While his vocals might be perceived as simply atypical "black metal raspy-style singing" I picked up on a deeper, more disturbing quality to his voice that gives this album an atmospheric edge. Simply put his vocal performance gives The Unconscious Mind a much darker and evil essence then your bulk of black/death metal bands. In a way he reminded me of Hell's lead singer David Bower. It's not that he sounds like Bower or anything it's just that his vocal performance, in much the same way way as David Bowers, helps gives The Unconscious Mind this remarkably otherworldly/storyteller-like quality. The vocals help move the music along as if you're wrapped up in this unfolding nightmare. It's like you see yourself walking straight into hell and their is nothing you can do about it as you have lost all control of your own body! Joining him then for this midnight walk through madness is his brother Simon Gauvreau (bass), the aforementioned Simon Cléroux (who, in addition to playing guitar also handles backing vocals), and keyboardist Michael Racine. Meanwhile Charles-André Brodeur (of power metal band Kemilon) is credited as being (only) the band's live drummer so I'm honestly not sure if the band utilized a drummer on here or what? Not that it matters really as the album, which was mixed and mastered by Maxime Côté (Hands Of Despair, Catuvolcus), is as technically sound as they come. The band's sound has reportedly drawn favorable comparison's to the likes of Old Man's Child, Dimmu Borgir, and Immortal and I'd say that's fair enough. It's at least in the general ballpark sound-wise. But, while I don't necessarily disagree with those comparisons, The Unconscious Mind has already achieved a unique, stylistic, sound that takes the different extreme arts (black metal, death metal, progressive thrash, melodic death, etc.) and puts their own stamp on it. That stamp comes packaged with a modern sound and a modern production so, for those who might be looking for old-school black/death metal, be forewarned that this 10-track is not retro in nature. You can find out more about the band and the link below and, as I've said many times before, it's bands like this (who are not afraid to makes additions to black metal's trademark sound) that make me reevaluate my feelings on the genre. Purists would probably disagree and they have every right to, but for me black metal is more interesting and appealing when it gets it's hands all dirty by way of adventuring into new and uncharted areas. The Unconscious Mind might not be the first band to experiment with additional elements (like a mad scientist in a lab), but they are the new face of black metal and I for one welcome them with open arms!