Unkempt Herald
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Unkempt Herald

Bloomfield, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Bloomfield, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Metal Alternative




"Album Review: Unkempt Herald – Diatribe (Independent)"

It is very difficult for bands to independently release an album in this day and age. Even with the advent of the internet and the resources available through current technology, few bands consider the dedication it takes to reach their demographic. Let’s face it, the metal population is reproducing like rabbits, and the market is flooded with new talent. It is musicians who claw through walls until their fingers bleed that are rewarded by the light of day. So when I received an email from my editor stating there was an independent band asking us to write a review, the thought came to mind – its one thing to ask for radio play, asking someone with an un-biased opinion to pick your work apart takes courage.

That brings us to Unkempt Herald. A New Jersey group, who is determined to claw through the wall with the release of their debut album Diatribe. They do everything on their own accord start to finish – production, artwork, even packaging. Unkempt Herald is learning about the industry as a whole and I believe if they stay strong to their work ethic, milestones can be reached. There is an “Elephant in the Room” that has to be addressed however – the music.

There is plenty of talent within the band, but there is a lack of direction to the music. The band classifies themselves as hardcore-soul, (which sounds to me like they want to add a new name to the endless list of sub-genres) and I’m all for that. Being unique is what attracts listeners, yet Unkempt Herald lives up to their name when it comes to their music. “Elephant in the Room” and “Cynics and Liars” are examples of how ‘unkempt’ this debut is. One minute you’re grooving to a good Phil Anselmo style, when suddenly you’re kicking down doors in a hardcore whirlwind with little to no transition. Don’t just throw me off the roof! Dangle me there and threaten me before you drop me! Like the Mafia.

Diatribe isn’t all bad though, it has plenty to offer the metal community. My personal favorite is the second track, “Push”. Being fond of the death metal genre, “Push” shows the band can compose songs that meld different styles organically. I can say “Phantom” also shows how diverse Unkempt Herald can be. There is great structure to this song with a driving beat and good vocal range. “Phantom” also heralds my biggest critique – using clean vocals in a dirty atmosphere is a challenge. You better offer something valuable when attempting to add this element to the music. Again, the sound is there and has no where to go. 45 seconds of this track is spent singing, “Whoa oh, oh whoa whoa,” Don’t waste a talented voice on repetition. Use it or get out of the way of the music, because this song is drives on its own.

Production needs to be tuned up. Unkempt Herald has built a base camp/studio in New Jersey, thus proving their commitment to the art. The next milestone for the band should be getting to know recording software like the back of their hands, if they plan on being the sole producers. Also make sure your percussion and bass sound good, then everything else can fall into place. As a listener, I don’t want to fuss with the volume every song.

In the end, I give Unkempt Herald thumbs up for work ethic. They will find their place in the metal genre soon enough, all they really lack is time and experience. - www.thatmetalstation.com c/o Walter Greggs

"Album Review: Unkempt Herald - Self Titled EP"

Unkempt Herald
Self Titled EP
Release Date: June 26th, 2016
Label: Lion Heart Records LLC
Genre: Melodic Hardcore/Hardcore Soul
Website: http://www.unkemptherald.com/
Tracklist: 1. Parabolic Flaw
2. Like White On Brown Rice
3. Thunderstorms And Nightmares
Reviewed By: Alan Lisanti

Unkempt Herald hails from Bloomfield, NJ. They bill themselves as "thoughtful yet aggressive melodic hardcore music", and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. It's also hard to pigeonhole them or categorize them on your own, and that is an excellent thing in this day an age of music. The band has a full length under their belts to date (released last year) called Diatribe, and have just recently released a self-titled EP to give fans a taste of things to come on their follow up full length. Where Diatribe showed a big upside, and a notable diversity within the material, this EP picks up where they left off and pushes all aspects forward in the sense of cohesion and maturity. The band self produces, records, writes, and releases all of it's own material and seemingly embraces the true DIY aesthetic that so many bands these days seem to neglect to remember. The result, or accumulation of all of this tireless work is a strong and promising effort on this latest release. The organic element of rolling up your sleeves and embracing the process has yielded a 3 song teaser (so to speak) that showcases a band who's pieces are mere inches away from all falling into place. Not only that, but the songs have substance both musically and lyrically in an era where too many artists and songs can come across as overly contrived. This EP is not a manufactured effort, or an attempt to chase genre demographics. It is the end result of three members in a band that haven't forgotten it's all about the blood, sweat, and tears. And I say that, because you can literally hear it in the songs. Unkempt Herald can write a good song, but they also have a unique take on when to bring the melody and when to bring the heavy. Because of that, you may notice they seem to care less about labels and genre's, and more about what they and the song are trying to say. That's certainly a good quality to have in a time when so many bands wear their influences on their sleeves. If they stay the course they could very easily hit their stride on their upcoming album, and surprise some people while turning some heads. Personally, I really like the last track, "Thunderstorms And Nightmares" with "Like White On Brown Rice" coming in a very close 2nd. However, front to back, you don't want to miss out on this one. Diatribe showcased a band that was still finding itself. This self titled EP proves they have, and makes you eager to hear where the band is headed in the future. You may want to grab a copy of this while it's available because it could turn into one of those rare and sought after gems in a bands catalog down the line. The band says they will be re-recording the 3 songs on this EP for their upcoming full length. These are the rawer versions of this material, and while production snobs might turn up their noses longing for a more "polished" final product, that rawness works very well here and translates and transcends the music. This is what passion sounds like. In a world of polished productions, watered down lyrics and songwriting, trends, and genre pleasers, Unkempt Herald stands tall on their own feet because they haven't forgotten about the human element in music.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 - Obscure Chaos Zine c/o Alan Lisanti


Squalidus Praeco(demo)- 2014
1) Phantoms
2) Collapsing Stars
3) Elephant in the Room

1) The Price Is Life
2) Phantoms
3) Push
4) The Truth That Lies
5) Elephant In The Room
6) Imposing Their Will Upon The Masses
7) Collapsing Stars
8) Him
9) Cynics & Liars

Unkempt Herald
(self titled E.P.)-2016
1) Parabolic Flaw
2) Like White On Brown Rice
3) Thunderstorms & Nightmares

2) Paint By Numbers
3) Like White On Brown Rice
4) Empty Sun
6) Portrait Of Ruin
7) Parabolic Flaw
8) Words They Speak
9) Thunderstorms &Nightmares



Unkempt Herald was formed by Dave Gurgick, Jesse Salinas, and Ronstin Smith in Bloomfield N.J. in 2013. They spent a year practicing writing and trying to hone their style. To that effort they built a studio, bought gear and set to work. Unkempt Herald has created a style that is both musically diverse and lyrically thoughtful.  By the summer of 2014 they released their debut E.P.  “Squalidus Praeco”which was followed by their first full length album “Diatribe” which released summer of 2015. They recently released their second E.P. self titled “Unkempt Herald” this summer(2016) and have finished recording their second full length album “Kegare” set to release mid October 2016. With "Kegare" they have personified their style while bringing it to the next level.      
 Unkempt Herald's music can be found on numerous websites for purchase and/or free play: Amazon, Bandcamp, GooglePlay, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Shazam, Soundcloud, XBox Music, Youtube, and many more.

Band Members