Unreqvited - Stars Wept to the Sea
Avantgarde Music
Blackened Shoegaze
8 songs ()
Release year: 2018
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

If you heard nothing of Unreqvited I haven’t either, and information on the band is hard to come by as well. Apparently the work of the sole Canadian multi-instrumentalist, whose name is coded with a single indescribable hieroglyph, Stars Wept to the Sea is Unreqvited second album.

When symphonic rising warmth – like air on a sunny spring day – as well as angelic choir hovering over voluminous equal parts synthesizer and full orchestral sound greet on Sora you are not sure what to expect. Could this simply be an intro to something about to explode? Or could this settle into the ambient darkwave and sing lullabies for its duration? It is the slowly rising, pressing, grating guitars, first making appearance around 4 min though that fully foretell the clash that best characterizes Stars Wept to the Sea.

Surely there are compositions on the album which are harp and flute Neopolitan melody (Namida), or the balance between synth samples and authentic piano tinkling with some violin added for good symphonic measure (Empyrean). However, for the most parts Stars Wept to the Sea is a clash between dark acoustics and the aforementioned grating guitars wrestling away at who is going to carry melody and dictate direction. Sometimes guitars dominate (Anhedonia), sometimes things start diffuse, growing muscle slowly but steadily (Kurai, White Lotus). Kurai becomes almost too edgy, ending with the hint of jazzy unsettleness, while White Lotus culminates in a double bass. The closer Soulscape blows through all of the shades. Electric touches discharge and ruin what was a peaceful stroll. The shroud is then pulled on dense and tight. Forest clearings and glades are infrequent, but they do exist, until everything all of sudden is spilled into the cosmic size opening where bent notes never allow things to come in balance.

The album being mostly instrumental, Stardust does feature a good portion of angelic female vocals, but for the most part the few vocal parts are depressed in the mix incomprehensible shrieks. With those few and far between vocal touches the temptation could be to classify Unreqvited as atmospheric black metal of sorts, and if you absolutely have the need to categorize anything you ever heard, then consider this band an extension of dense Alcest fabric, with the feeling being much darker and moodier than the euphoria Alcest exudes on Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde or Les Voyages de l’Ame. Nature theme is felt in Stars Wept to the Sea, and, interestingly enough, the album is equal parts water theme (end of Anhedonia, T-storm passing at the end of Stardust), but cosmic wind currents blow noticeably when Stardust opens and Soulscape definitely takes everything out to the non-terrestrial realms.

Call Unreqvited post-back metal or blackened dark shoegaze, the melodies entirely captivate and the production of this complex layered music is absolutely crisp and stellar. Someone who knows how to twiddle the knobs is definitely in control here.

Killing Songs :
Anhedonia, Stardust
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Unreqvited that we have reviewed:
Unreqvited - Mosaic I: l'amour et l'ardeur reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
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