With the volume of music being produced continually growing, finding a way to stand out is becoming increasingly difficult. The Uncharted have created something that differs from the norm with their narrative that runs through their debut EP, Perspectives.
The UK progressive metal band explore deep and immersive subjects throughout the tracks across the EP. To put it simply, the narrative follows a nameless character in the questioning of their existence. Glimpsing the possibility of a better life and coming to terms with their self-limitations they resolve to make their own purpose in life. Arron Carter (clean vocals) stated: “My aim was to create a narrative that reflected the intricacy and technicality of our music by infusing various philosophies, and ideas within the framework of a traditional story”. This has been achieved as the Uncharted incorporate a variety of instrumental and vocal techniques to portray the themes of the narrative atmospherically through the tracks. The theatrics and dramatic sounds that run through the EP are executed excellently by balancing the portrayal of the narrative and maintaining the listenability of the tracks.
Deathdrive opens the EP with dramatic synths that build up to create a large-scale sound. The high-pitched melody creates an eerie feel to the track that aptly suits the dark ideas explored in the narrative. The sudden change into heavy guitars and distorted vocals creates an effective contrast which reinforces the meaning behind the lyrics. By including clean vocals in the chorus, it creates a sense of hope alluding to later sections of the narrative and tracks later in the EP. The piano melody, lighter tone of the guitars and soaring vocals all complement each other in the chorus but do not feel completely disjointed from the verse despite the significant variations in tone. Contrasting sounds, both in the instruments and the vocals, is used throughout the tracks and develops as the EP progresses. This is also integral to their sound; the vocal tones of Peter Lee and Arron Carter, along with the instrumental sounds used forms a unique sound setting The Uncharted apart from other bands of this genre.
Catch 22 features string motifs and synth aspects which add an extra dimension to the sound and begins to move away from the focus of heavy tones and aggressive explored in the first track. The change in tone of this track clearly reflects the progression of the narrative and the positivity of the narrator glimpsing a better quality of life. However, sections of fast, heavy guitar rhythms and Lee’s distorted vocals keep the darker parts of the narrative present in preparation for the approaching events the narrator is to face. Half Light features more significance in the guitars with intricate melodies and riffs accompanied with fast drum patterns. Carter’s vocals soar covering a wide a range once again portraying the positive aspects of the story as the narrator, aware of his own faults, chooses to improve life for himself.
Revival concludes the EP with a bang. Merging heavy toned guitars, Lee’s vocals, and synths the track opens with a dramatic atmosphere. The high energy of the track continues in the chorus which sees Carter’s soaring vocals once again complement the heavier aspects of the track. The intertwining of sounds and tones, both lighter and dark, effectively presents the conclusion of the narrative. The realisation reached by the narrator of making the best in life despite the issues thrown into play. The sense of acceptance is effectively portrayed through the consistency if the heavier sections and more uplifting instrumental parts.
The Uncharted have created a narrative which is not only interesting but relevant in the current day and age. Developing sounds and tones to effectively represent each section of the narrative across the EP shows they’re highly skilled at songwriting. The dividing of the narrative into sections does not leave the EP feeling disjointed nor does it effect the tracks if listened to individually. For a debut release The Uncharted have pushed the boundaries and created an EP to be proud of.
For fans of: Architects, TesseracT, Valis Ablaze
Words by Holly Royle
‘Perspectives’ by The Uncharted is released on 28th September.