Sunless is a very interesting band, by interesting I mean stylistically speaking their hybrid of infusing progressive death metal, avantgarde and technical death metal may seem like its not the greatest invention known to mankind but as someone who loves when bands use progressive and technical death metal signatures, these guys reside from Minnesota and Ylem is the sophomore full-length album released on Willowtip Records. Now, Sunless’ musical style and influence on this album is all over the radar from the avantgarde atmosphere of early Gorguts, the dissonance sounds of Artificial Brain, the barbarity and experimental arrangements of Ulcerate and blackened compositions from Deathspell Omega you may as well call it a experimental metal album but for what it is, I thoroughly enjoyed it front to back.
From the blast beat fillers, amazing vocal patterns and deliveries, great bass tones, and guitars providing a dense and thickening approach to the wonderful musical comforts and layers of luxurious sounds, Ylem also balances out some melodicism in which this case a lot of the underground bands in the genre really seem to give it all they got by really showcasing and demonstrating the quality and nature of how Sunless’ instruments and everything in between listening to the album is full of captivity and uniqueness. Moments on this album you do start to get more cozy and sometimes unsettling as there’s songs like Flesh-Particle Amalgamation, Spiraling into the Unfathomable, Molding Axioms of the Metaphysical and Atramentous which in this case this album features infectious drums, commendable vocal performances and a atmosphere feel dense and gloomy at times, this album feels more matured and comprehended than their debut offering.
Songwriting here is more improved and matured since there’s more detail and thought into the process on writing these songs brings out depth, character and meaning. Production wise, this album is well produced and overstayed its welcome since there’s some passages where it feels atmospheric, feels dark and cohesive but keeping formulated structure of Sunless’ sound is what I dig about progressive death metal and technical death metal all around. Everything about the musicality, compositions and arrangements they have utilized is superior and give such powerful emphasis on delivering a positive response and understanding where the album artwork and content they’ve been providing the listener is extremely engaging and memorable. Even on the second half for this album which every emotion represented is conveyed perfectly not because of the messages these lyrics come to life but rather feel the despair from the vocals itself can make the enjoyment on this album feels welcomed and accepted. Ylem is a solid continuation to the band’s embodiment of work and if you’re fans of progressive death metal with technical, blackened and avantgarde atmospheric passages then this record is for you.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler