A Past Unknown - To Those Perishing
Record Label: Red Cord Records
Release Date: September 30, 2011
What do you get when you combine the clean vocal style of The Devil Wears Prada and the technical riffs of August Burn Red? You get a christian metal band called A Past Unknown. This sounds like a match made in heaven right? Unfortunately, To Those Perishing is brought down by a lack of a track to track variety and general creativity. You will be hard pressed to find much that is unique here when compared to other, more popular christian metal bands.
When listening, I could tell that everyone in the band had talent. Hearing Grant Lilly scream lines like "I AM the way to be, I AM the truth you need, no one comes to My Father except through me" shows his prowess as a vocalist. Grant does both the singing and screams for A Past Unknown and while his cleans aren't the greatest in the business, hearing them come after a barrage of screams is a complete breath of fresh air.
Equally furious are the guitars. Both Nick Powell and Trevor Rozendaal do a sublime job of bringing the huge sweeping riffs and power chords into the album. It makes the whole thing feel just slightly above average, keeping A Past Unknown barely floating above a sea of other drowning metal bands. What brings this circle back around is Jack Gent on drums. Perfect triggers to all of the riffs, I found myself playing along with him (very badly and completely off timing, but trying nonetheless) with pencils on my desk. The only thing that isn't prominent is the bass. Dirk Wiese plays bass, but everything else is pushed so far forward production wise, that the bass is nonexistent. I am sure he is just as talented as the rest of the band is.
So what do we have here. We have a debut album from a band that has a gigantic amount of talent and potential. To Those Perishing is fast, hard-hitting, and furious.....but so is For All Eternity, August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, Chelsea Grin, are you catching my drift? Essentially A Past Unknown haven't become memorable in my eyes because there is almost nothing new here. Each one of those bands are big because they have something that sets them apart. Is To Those Perishing fun? Yeah, it is fun. Bubbles are fun too, until you realize that all of the bubbles that you blow are the same to the naked eye. Those bubbles will get boring very fast. For their sophomore album, A Past Unknown needs to step it up. Bring us something that sets them apart. I know that in today's scene, it can be very hard to separate yourself from the pack, but if A Past Unknown wants to stay relevant, they need to bring something new to the table. At the very least, bring some variety on a track by track basis.
To Those Perishing is a good time, but sometimes that just isn't enough.