An older review from about 2006...
I'm a person who takes my music pretty seriously. If I hear good things about a band, I'm going to check the band out. I was hearing a lot of praise for Unraveled calling it a tech-doom masterpiece and a brilliant work of heavy metal and whatnot. After listening to this album, I have an obligation to myself to decide if I enjoyed the album or not and as hard as I tried to judge without being influenced by others, it was hard to disagree with the rumors I had heard. This album is completely awesome. There are so many subtleties that push this album to greatness. Fantastic vocals, brilliant guitar work, and a bass and drum rhythm section that leaves no beat unbeaten.
I can't quite decide what Scott Jeffrey's vocals sound like. They are really hard to compare to anything. Layne Staley does work yet only at times. Other times, the vocals sound more like Tim Aymar from Chuck Schuldiner's side project Control Denied if he was singing one or two octave's lower. Sometimes the vocals waver between the two. Sometimes they waver between wavering between the two and not wavering at, forming a vocal black hole of categorization. Apparently he is going to be singing on the new Watchtower album also and his vocals with Ron Jarzombek's crafty guitar philosophy is an almost unimaginably perfect combination. Back to Confessor. The vocals are great, full, they are full of a melancholic intensity and emotion that rips into your very being. Range wise, this album spans all frequencies of the sound spectrum. At times, high pitched wails are the order of the day and other times low wins out instead. Overall, it is a perfect blend of both the low, the high, and the strangest clean vocal style I have heard in a long time.
Musically, this album takes the prize in a vast array of areas. Yes, there is the signature Confessor time signature manipulation. Yes, there is the estranged guitar melodies. Yes the drummer destroys the fabric of any drumming handbook. Yes the bassist pummels through every riff like twelve elephants fighting over a 3 inch watering hole. Shawn McCoy and Brian Shoaf's playing creates melodies that we never even knew existed. Completely ridiculous riffage is at work on this album and these two twist each riff until they fold over and over infinite times into themselves. Like trying to follow the winding path of a piece of spaghetti through your pasta with your eyes, each riff becomes another, flows into each other riff seamlessly. My mind is boggled by the fact they remember all the riffs. Steve Shelton is one hell of a drummer. My god. He has to be one of the most talented yet overlooked drummers on the face of this earth. Every fill is completely different. The sporadic double bass placement is top notch and never off. Tight. Ridiculous. If drums could talk to their drummers his drums would say something like, "Hey, Steve... what are you doing man??" Then he would hit the drum that talked to him. And it would sound perfect because he has that ability were he can hit things that weren't even on his drum set and still make it sound perfect. All told, listening to the drumming in songs like Hibernation proves how ridiculously talented he is. Now, Cary Rowells, must be doing some bass work to rival that of twenty bassists playing at once. And, he is. Somehow he follows the drums and the guitars, switching off between following one and the other. Altogether, these are five guys who when they come together to create, they do more than create. They create and destroy all musical barriers at the same time. Bravo Confessor Bravo.
Song wise. Each song is ridiculous and awesome. It would be impossible to talk about each one. Basically, Hibernation is one of my favorites. Until Tomorrow and Blueprint Soul are also killer tracks. Listen to the whole album, each song is incredibly monstrous in sound and attitude. Together, these songs show a band who are completely in tune with what they want to create and want to sound like. Perfectly placed breaks, solos, leads and harmonies abundant, this album will tear, and carve out a place distinctly its own in your mind. Like a virus slowly eating away until it has conquered all of you. Confessor have created a masterpiece. Hopefully, they will create another and real soon.