Theatrical metal is a fairly new genre to us, but if St Louis sextet Unimagined are anything to go by then we’re fully onboard with the concept. The band aren’t afraid to be ‘a little bit ridiculous’ and are fighting the corner for anyone who’s ever been considered ‘the weird kid.’
The six-piece first began with Jarett Clark (vocals) and Caleb Freihaut (vocals and guitar) jamming together around five years ago, but things didn’t begin getting serious until they added Jake Morgan (guitar and vocals) and Nathan Simpson (guitar) to the mix in around 2015. Now, with Patrick Reuben (bass) and Kai (drums) completing the line-up, they’ve finalised a debut EP that’s set for release next week.
As Caleb tells us: “We all love really eccentric and dramatic music and saw a lack of that in the current climate, save a few bands here and there. So I think a mutual passion for being ridiculous is what held us all together.”
Our first taste of this is debut single Too Dead To Dance, which essentially takes the wacky sound of Panic At The Disco, and throws in some metal riffs and huge screamed vocals for good measure. And the result is wonderful.
It kicks off with high-pitched vocals “It seems that our hearts just don’t beat the way they used to dear, But you know that these feet still move, Hey!” over chugging guitars. Stabbing highpitched guitars and low-tuned guitars kick in, then light guitars support more engaging vocals before more-high pitched cry of “I’ll kiss the maggots right out of your skin, We can sweet talk until our teeth fall off.”
That’s blown apart by huge screams “I couldn’t change and I wouldn’t if I wanted to, You are my rot, it’s all I’ve got.” The contrasts between the scary screams and delicious high-pitched vocals work beautifully, with sudden bursts of heavy guitar countering the melodic chorus. The two come together in a call and answer section of “Now you’re just another nihilist with a fetish for deja vu, Another animal who doesn’t care what’s killing you, We wouldn’t change the world, so we couldn’t change ourselves, This happened on it’s own so all that ends well, is well.” Check it out in the video below:
On the Unimagined sound, Caleb explains: “I think we take the ‘theatricore’ title and wear it proudly! We want to be over the top and we want to be a little bit ridiculous. I think we all try to remind people of the things that made them fall in love with this kind of music in the first place.
“We just want people to know that it’s okay to be the weird kid. Whatever your ‘thing’ is, stick with it. We got laughed at when we first started and now people are starting to see what we’re about. We’re here to have fun and give people a truly religious experience in the live setting. We just can’t wait to get it all out there!”
As mentioned, Unimagined’s debut album is out next Friday (9 November), and on it Caleb tells us: “We couldn’t be MORE excited, frankly. For some of us, this EP is almost five years in the making. As far as setting up expectations, I think there is a little something for everyone. There are songs that are fun, dancey, heavy, slow, fast, simple, shreddy, really just whatever you’d want! We try to fit in a lot of variety but keep a certain ‘vibe’ on the record.”
One of the key shared influences for the band was Avenged Sevenfold, especially for Caleb guitar-wise, along with the likes of My Chemical Romance, Coheed & Cambria, as well as heavier bands like Sworn In, Chelsea Grin and Black Tongue.
And as far as how they get inspired to write their wild brand of music, Caleb explains: “I’m the main songwriter in the group – though everyone has equal say & input – and as far as influences, I just write what sounds adventurous or exciting for to me. Lyrics tend to come after the music is written and I can sort of vibe what the song feels like it needs to say. My lyrics tend to deal with matters of the heart, or internal struggle but, that’s just because I’m a pretty overly emotional kind of dude!”
Unimagined are wacky and fun, and really heavy, yet there’s a heartfelt emotional tinge to their music that makes it even more appealing. Their debut EP Friendless is out next Friday (9 November) and you can check out their music on Spotify.