Unreqvited — Mosaic I: L'Amour Et L'Ardeur
Despite the fact that Unreqvited just released a successful sophomore album in Stars Wept To The Sea link)a mere 5 months ago, the project's third full-length album is already completed and released. The official release date is still November 23rd, for physical copies, but, due to a mistake by the record label, anyone who pre-ordered the album got full album in digital format immediately. I'm a greedy fan, and I also contribute to the project's Patreon, so I pounced on the chance to hear the whole album as soon as I was aware of the option.
I'd already heard 2 of the album's tracks before the whole record leaked, so I had already prepared for the slight changes compared to the previous Unreqvited albums. Dropping most of the DSBM elements, Mosaic I: L'Amour Et L'Ardeur indulges the project's shoegaze influences across 5 long, sprawling tracks. The material is still very light on vocals, making sparing use of the same pained, shrieking howls as heard on Disquiet and Stars Wept To The Sea. The material on this record is also a lot faster, more uptempo, and a lot more guitar-oriented than ever before, while still retaining a lot of the tonal and song-writing qualities that make up the unique Unreqvited sound.
L'Amour Et L'Ardeur may have been put together relatively quickly, but nothing about the album feels rushed or hastily thrown together. The production is clean and crisp, and the songs, in spite of their long running time, all flow together and keep a brisk pace. The album clocks in at 40 minutes in length, but manages to feel exceedingly short. Each track features dynamic shifts between airy, midtempo riffing, atmospheric respites and even some fast blast beat sections such as the 2:50 mark of "Balance." I've been a fan of Unreqvited since Ghost Bath gave the project a mention on their Facebook page. Three albums into its existence and this project continues to evolve and progress, putting out some exceptionally good material along the way.
I appreciate the slight stylistic changes on L'Amour Et L'Ardeur, as they extend the project's sound without marking a drastic shift in directions, and avoids falling into a narrow niche — churning out the same songs over and over. Disquiet is a masterpiece of deeply atmospheric, depressive black metal, Stars Wept To The Sea is like a middle-ground between the first album and this one. L'Amour Et L'Ardeur takes the penchant for strong melodies, doses the material with more prominent guitar work in lieu of the heavier reliance on atmospheric synths on prior works. This is a refreshing level of progression in a very short amount of time, delivering both another quality album in a single calendar year, but things bode well for future releases if the project continues to evolve.
I can't tell you which of this year's albums are my favourite, as both are excellent in their own rights. I can say that I recommend giving both of them a look, however. Unreqvited remains one of the standout projects in the atmospheric metal world.
Content to drop not 1 but 2 full-length albums in 2018, Unreqvited are back after a mere 5 months with Mosaic I: L'Amour Et L'Ardeur. Turning down the DSBM and turning up the shoegaze elements, Unrevqited offers a strong set of variations on the project's typical fare of brooding, mid-to-low tempo music drenched in atmosphere on this new album. More riff-oriented material and a faster overall tempo distinguishes this album from its predecessors while still retaining enough other sonic elements to still sound like an Unreqvited record. Fans of the project's past albums should still be able to enjoy L'Amour Et L'Ardeur without difficulty, and I think this album could appeal to a broader audience. Another quality entry in the Unreqvited discography.
Release date: November 23rd, 2018
Record label: Northern Silence
Will Vale — everything
Published: October 15th, 2018.