“Gold” Review

Gold Review

“Gold,” the fifth studio album by German progressive metal band Unprocessed, comes with a significant shift in sound to a larger incorporation of alternative rock elements. With idiosyncratic sounds and guitar, Unprocessed evolves their sound in a unique and engaging way.

The biggest development for Unprocessed can be seen in the instrumentals from frontman Manuel Gardner Fernandes. With a heavier incorporation of Fernandes’ recognizable style, the album is filled with muted notes, finger playing and false harmonics. However, this doesn’t mean Fernandes shies away from trying new things. A new addition to Fernandes’ playing is seen through the use of guitar slapping, which coincides well with bassist David John Levy’s playing, whose style is heavy in bass slapping.

A larger incorporation of alternative and rock elements is apparent throughout the album, particularly in drummer Leon Pfiefer’s playing. These elements can be seen in the songwriting in “Orange Grove,” and the vocals in “Velvet.” Generally, a larger range can be seen from Fernandes’ vocals. “Dinner” is another song where Fernandes’s unique style shines in the interludes.

The album is filled with sounds that are not traditional for the band. The use of a ticking clock sound in “Redwine” juxtaposed with Fernandes’ distinct guitar playing and subtle ambient synths frame the emotion-filled “Portrait.” The band also plays into their German roots with the song “Berlin” featuring German lyrics and the use of Berlin-based techno instrumentation.

While a lot of the songs on the album show Unprocessed’s potential to create unique sounds, some songs dive into alternative and rock elements to the point where they come off as generic and bland. Songs like “Snake” and “The Game” stick out when compared to other songs on the album where the band plays more into their style.

“Gold” could be a few tracks shorter, but the album is still Unprocessed at their best. With impressively technical guitar playing and an appealing blending of genres, “Gold” is a notable addition to the new age of progressive metal.