Album Review: Unwill – Past Life

While it’s true that people like to place labels upon things they encounter in life, doing so can inevitably be a disservice for many as there is usually much more than what is displayed at face value. In music, this is becoming increasingly more apparent as bands continue to evolve and change by not just borrowing styles from other genres, but incorporating and embracing them wholly, creating sounds that 20 – 25 years ago, no one would imagine. When Rochester’s own Unwill announced their signing to Entertainment One Music / Lifeblood Inc last July, the band was described as a rock band with an unrelenting, grim sound. One could take this to mean many things, but after listening to their debut album, Past Life, it’s clear there’s so much more than meets the eye throughout the 11 songs featured and that labeling them as purely a rock band is doing them an injustice.

[tw-toggle title=”About Unwill”]
Genre: Rock | Post Hardcore
Label: eOne Music | Lifeblood Inc
Release: February 10, 2017
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play | Amazon

As stated, there’s much more here than what the initial impression will give people as Unwill dances between the alternative rock and post hardcore genres, doing so quite gracefully. This is prominent throughout the entirety of Past Life, but is truly on display with the distinct guitar work that skates between crunchy, post hardcore-stylized riffs and sweeping leads found more commonly in alternative rock. Backing this are bouncy and prominent bass lines that help make each song stand out musically, with “The Way” and “Tomb” being prime showcases of both. On the vocal side, frontman Rocco Sylvio showcases remarkable talent as his voice veers back and forth between clean, melodious singing and raw, harsh screams. This stylistic approach comes to the forefront throughout the whole of Past Life, but really shines on tracks like “Drifting” and “Soul”, which see the vocals create a melodic ambiance, soothing the listener and serving as at rue testament to Rocco’s vocal prowess.


The official music video for “Tomb” by Unwill. The debut album ‘Past Life’ out now! (eOne Music / Lifeblood Inc.) Directed by Josiah Moore.

With their debut album, Unwill takes the listener on a journey through a tirade of emotions, where it’s self-doubt, anger or self-discovery. This is further enhanced by the record having the perfect blend of grit and melody coupled brilliantly with lyrical themes that are full of dark, disparaging ideas that when peeled away, reveal brief moments of hope. Sonically, Past Life has all that fans of the genre deem worthy: the crooning and gritty vocals that range from smooth to coarse, catchy and sweeping riffs back with intense fills and bouncing bass and a relatable message. While the album may not come with a lot of fanfare to it, it certainly lays an extremely solid foundation to build off of and is the perfect representation of what Unwill are all about.

What Are Your Thoughts!

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