Years 1996-1997: The bitch is in heat again!

As the amount of the positive feedback from the fans grew bigger and bigger during 1995 and 1996, some members of the band started playing with the idea of reunion. These talks took place around midsummer 1996, at the time when Jarkko was already busy with his new band. Thus it was obvious that if Unholy would be reunited and reanimated, it would happen without Jarkko. After serious considerations Jan, Ismo and Pasi decided to check out if the old searing flame of unholy agony still existed.

The common understanding was reached quickly and things started to roll on their own weight. The pain was there, and the music manifested easily around the gloomy themes that band had started to look at more closely. Again, Unholy has a fresh touch to the music. Instead of repeatind old doom cliches, band started to mix heavy guitars with strong rhythms creating hectic and phobic moods. Heaviness was not forgotten; it was given a new meaning with few ultra-heavy, tearing tracks which hold the listener in constant state of anguish for their whole duration. More simple and staright forward riffs and minimum guitar solos are also present, with the guitar sound that rips and torns and twists one’s guts nicely. All in all, Unholy has returned and still has a heavy word to say, when it comes to playing heavy, moody and beautiful music.

In the beginning of July ’97 Unholy entered the familiar recording studio in Imatra to break the long silence. The schedule and the budget were tight, and band was under lot of pressure. The exceptional heat wave did not make the working conditions any better. As usual, technical problems put extra pressure on the band, and soon the everyone’s nerves were pretty up and tight. The deadlines were approaching and mixing had barely began.

After a short remixing session in early August “Rapture”, as solemnly titled, was completed. The process took fifteen days, and the bandmembers had some sore emotional wounds from the bitter clash of the spirits in the studio. A total amount of nine songs were recorded, one of which was left out from the album. The task, over 60 minutes of heavy, heavy music, had been huge, and compared to the inputs, the outcome was quite satisfactory.

“Rapture” was the most heavy, ugly, and mean of the all Unholy albums so far. Roughly produced, slow and agonizing dirges seemed to be too much for the most of the audience, since the album got exceptionally positive response in the metal press and among the fans. Songs like “Wunderwerck”, “Wretched”, or “Unzeitgeist” require some dedication from the side of the listener. According to the band member “… not many bands today have the courage to write such songs as Wunderwerck, or Unzeitgeist. Unzeitgeist is in fact like saying ‘Fuck Off’ to the listener in the form of music…”

The original front cover

Rapture today

The two live bonus tracks on the Rapture reissue album are actually from the year 1999, but since few people have ever heard Unholy playing live, it felt right to add a couple of live songs as bonus.

Also cover arts have been worked quite a bit, and the album is wrapped in super jewel case box like other Peaceville reissues. A line-up for live bonus tracks is: Pasi Äijö: vocals & bass, Ismo Toivonen: guitar, Jade Vanhala: guitar, Veera Muhli: keyboards, Jan Kuhanen: drums. Reissue has been out since June 2011.

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