There’s a brilliant British TV comedy called Peep Show in which two of the main characters discuss starting a band called Various Artists “just to fuck over people with iPods.” And that kind of sneaky trick is, we assume, what Virginia band UNKNOWN was going for, as it took us bloody ages to find them on Spotify…
When we did manage this task, however, we were well rewarded by the band’s intense metal sound. The band sent us Serpents Lullaby, from their debut EP New Beginnings which was released in March, to have a listen to.
It begins with hissing sounds that drop into a chugging guitar riff and lots of cymbals that continue under the gruff vocals of frontman Steve M. A huge drum roll gives way to funky little guitar flourishes through a chorus of heavy vocals then drops back into the opening riff.
Chugging guitars come in after the second chorus, amid huge amounts of cymbals, then dive back into the opening riff followed by higher-pitched guitars. It’s heavy and overpowering, and you can check it out in this awesome live video… in the middle of a field… here:
The EP is full of intense metal tracks, including kicking off in style with the wild Vicious, which opens with a cool little low-pitched riff then higher-pitched countering guitars and a darting riff under a terrifying long wailing sound from Steve M. The unrelenting darting riff continues through a chorus of scarily heavy vocals then a mass of cymbals come in through the second verse. Give it a listen below:
Then there’s the intense opening and ensuing absolute carnage of second track Pestilent Effect, which even includes in an insane guitar solo.
All in all, this is a seriously impressive debut effort by a band who we don’t think will remain UNKNOWN for long. We had a chat with the band to help you find out more about them. Read on below…
GR: Who are UNKNOWN?
U: “UNKNOWN is a metal band from Northern, Virginia. The band was formed in 1999 by four friends who played music that got together and started writing music as a whole.”
GR: You just released Serpents Lullaby. What should people be expecting from the song?
U: “Serpents Lullaby is a song that relates to the people out there who are lied to or manipulated by the kind of people who don’t really show their true colors at first/’fake people.'”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
U: “The inspiration for Serpents Lullaby and most of our songs come from everyday life experiences/personal experiences. Our topics with our songs are most basically about life and the experiences a person has in life. However, sometimes it can be an explanation of stories or past time. A lot of variation.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
U: “Describing our sound is very difficult at times, because of so many influences. We get compared to many bands but a good way to describe would be a very intense groove-based band with heavy, intricate riffs.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
U: “Our strongest musical influences would have to be Pantera, Sepultura, White Zombie, Black Sabbath, Lamb of God.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
U: “The rest of 2019 for us is going to finish strong. We have a big festival coming up, The Blue Ridge Rock Fest, and there are a lot of bands that we are excited to share the stage with at that event. We also have a top talent showcase coming up in N.Y., where there will be multiple music industry personalities and labels to hear us. In between those events we have many shows we will be playing, also getting ready to head out early next year to travel/tour with some national bands.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
U: “We love playing, we have been doing this so long, and it is pretty much all we know. Whenever we record next people can expect nothing less than what we have been putting out in the past… solid heavy groove that is inspiring and unstoppable.”