Album Review: Unearth - The Wretched; The Ruinous

Album Review: Unearth - The Wretched; The Ruinous

Metalcore titans Unearth return with a brand-new album The Wretched; The Ruinous, their first album in 5 years. The band brings its 2000’s-era metalcore sound into the 2020’s, it’s first without founding member Ken Suzi, who left the band and joined another metalcore giant As I Lay Dying. This record delivers that metalcore sound a lot of people loved growing up with in the 2000’s and even leaning more toward melodic death metal at certain times on this album and the band pulls it off very well.

Album opener “The Wretched; The Ruinous” is a great album opener. Right off the bat, the band delivers their great brand of metalcore. With harmonies in the solo and vocals booming in the mix and delivery by Trevor Phipps and a great breakdown and chanting section at the end of the track. This track sets the groundwork for what the band is going to hit you with, and I’m ready to take the hit.

The opening scream of “Cremation of The Living” starts it off strong and includes another classic chuggy breakdown-style riff in the verse section. This is also one of the tracks that starts to lean more towards a melodic death metal sound. Almost an At The Gates sound to it. The next track “Eradicator” also leans into this sound again, similar to a The Black Dahlia Murder feel to it. The riff leading into the chorus gives off an energy building feeling and could be added to many workout playlists.

Call of Existence” I will bet one hundred percent that this will be an awesome song when performed live. With an opening build that starts with chanting, I can picture Trevor Phipps leading the crowd along with a call and response feel to the track. Another good pit-starter track with heavy metalcore feel and tone to the song that will no doubt be a future crowd favorite.

One of two tracks that surprised me on this release is “Dawn of The Militant”. A more thrashy feel to this song compared to the band’s well-known metalcore sound, the track is almost ninety percent thrash until the song brings back its metalcore vibe with a heavy breakdown with an Emergency Broadcast System in-between the chugs and growls. The other, “Into The Abyss”, has an amazing guitar solo section that brings a Dragonforce-like intricacy to it. The other surprise being clean vocals at the end of the track. The band doesn’t usually include clean vocals, but the section near the end, mixed with growls and screams, it works in their sound and on this record.

Album closer “Theaters of War” has a great drum intro that shines on the track segue into the opening riff. The song hits hard through the entire run time with an insane vocal mix with layers of screams, growls and gutturals into a slowed down, thick and heavy breakdown that even includes a great whammy-dive that channels the late Dimebag Darrell and a strong closer to the album.

Unearth delivered one hell of a great metalcore record. Adding unique elements and some moments shifting into different genres and adding to their repertoire and infusing into their sound that I hope they bring into future releases. Definitely a stand-out record in 2023 and Unearth are back and ready to show the metalcore genre how it’s done.


1) The Wretched; The Ruinous

2) Cremation of The Living

3) Eradicator

4) Mother Betrayal

5) Invictus

6) Call of Existence

7) Dawn of The Militant

8) Aniara

9) Into The Abyss

10) Broken Arrow

11) Theaters of War

SCORE:  9.5 / 10

RELEASED: 05/05/2023

Label: Century Media Records

FFO: As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Darkest Hour

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