Unexpect is definitely one of these bands you cannot easily categorize or review in general, since they are a whole category on their own! This unusual Canadian band was formed back in 1996 and released its debut album “Utopia” in 1999. Four years later they released the EP “_we, Invaders” with Galy Records and they reached larger audience. Then they signed in The End Records in order to release their second full length “In a Flesh Aquarium” in 2006. In 2011 it’s time for their third album, but they chose to release it on their own, without a label! Let’s see what “Fables of the Sleepless Empire” have to offer us!
Their music has always been very complex and difficult to “digest”, so they have been a love-or-hate band. They try to mix so many different elements and styles in their music (maybe all known styles!) something that sounds strange at first, but very interesting on the other hand. Comparing “Fables of the Sleepless Empire” to their earlier works, I can tell the band has made a very impressive progress, both in production / technical skills and song writing. I liked all their previous albums, but I always thought there is something missing. Unexpect always had one foot in the avant-garde black metal scene and the other foot in almost all other musical genres (with classical music, progressive metal, jazz and opera be the most common in their songs). I like this fusion of different styles and how the band moved between them, but on the other hand I understand that it could sound somehow weird, random or tiring to others. It is like trying to adopt a great book in one movie; too much information for the time you have, but you can’t leave anything outside. In my opinion, what has drastically changed in this new album, is that the band managed to create a unique background in their songs, which allows them to play so many different things, without losing their personal identity. Whether they play extreme metal, prog, rock, or opera you can easily recognize it is 100% Unexpect! They also tried to filter their music and include only the best parts and ideas in this album. This must be very difficult to succeed, but the band has obviously worked very hard these 5 years to perfect its compositions. Except for the much more solid songwriting the band is also improved in any other aspect. They are much better skilled musicians and their vocals are really amazing. They sing almost everything with impressive professionalism! By the way, if you think their music is complex, you should read the lyrics! No comment, at least they are in English, so you can try to understand them and travel to other weird dimensions…
Fans of extreme, weird, unusual music with avant-garde, classical and progressive references better check Unexpect fast! The album contains 11 tracks and it’s almost 56 minutes long. You can visit their myspace or their official site in order to get a taste of their music, or buy the album. It is available both in digital copy (download) and physical copy. I recommend always the physical copy, especially this time, since “Fables of the Sleepless Empire” is released in a wonderful digipak with a big folded booklet containing the lyrics and excellent artwork as you can see from the front cover.