Light Unseen began in 2016 as a one man project from Christian “Shun” Marthiljohni who decided that he wanted to step away from being the only Christian in a band and use his talents to praise the Lord through the heaviest of genres. Shun later went on to hire Adrian Trevino on drums and the two man project released a demo in 2017, Eve of the Day of the Lord, which is also available from Nosral Recordings, a label quickly becoming the place to find Christian artists producing the heaviest of metal. Visions of Archetype and Apocalypse incorporates the three songs from the demo and adds six more, one of which features vocals from Matthew Plunkett of the death/grindcore band Abated Mass of Flesh.
Light Unseen waste no time jumping right into things on the album. “Imago Dei”, one of the tracks from their demo opens things up and immediately bursts into a grinding fast riff punctuated by Adrian Trevino’s machine gun like drum work. Vocals are a deeply growled and somewhat intelligible even for novices to the genre, which is a bit surprising as I was expecting nothing but pig squeals and the usual uninterpretable growling. Presumably, Shun Marthiljohni chose this approach so listeners could actually hear and understand the message in the music. Much like a punk rock song, “Imago Dei” clocks in around a minute and half but manages to cram probably 3 minutes worth of music note in during that time.
“I’ve Seen them Fall” continues in the same vein, but the band takes a bit of a different approach for “Eve of the Day of the Lord”. The song opens up with a rather pleasant guitar riff and goes into versese with clean spoken lyrics accompanied by a pounding rhythm section. Following the spoken section the band adopts a bit of a groove for a while and Marthiljohni veers more toward shrieking black metal vocals for a bit before the song shifts more toward death/grindcore. The mix of music and vocal styles in the song really work well.
“My Tongue” changes things up a bit again in song that reminds me a lot of something off Tophet by Frost Like Ashes, both vocally and in some of the guitar work. As if to remind the listener that this is deathgrind, the band pulls out all the stops for that genre in “Christus Invictus” and “Soldier Cosmic”. Gone are intelligible vocals as they are replaced by grindcore vocals in “Christus Invictus” and the band going into overdrive in terms of speed for that song, while “Soldier Cosmic” is similar, vocals are more similar to earlier tracks and the song itself is just a tiny bit slower.
“Heirarch” shows off the bands instrumental side in one of the better tracks on the album. The opening riff sounds a bit like “Children of the Grave” but the resemblance is short-lived and the song itself alternates between grinding and pummeling riffs and drums.
Closing out the album, “Serpent Sold Soul” ventures again into more extreme territory, while “Corpus Christi” is more similar to earlier songs and has the deeply growled lyrics that are more intelligible.
Light Unseen have produced an album that sounds much more diverse that one might expect from a two-man band. Christian “Shun” Marthiljohni’s vocals cover the gamut of what one would expect from a death/grindcore album and the guitars have that right, buzzsaw feel when appropriate and even get a bit more technical in songs like “My Tongue” which adds some variety into a genre that can get a bit monotonous. Adrian Trevino’s drum work is solid throughout, whether it be carrying the songs along from a rhythm standpoint or going into blast beats at insane speeds. Oddly enough, my only quibble is that for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, the album isn’t as heavy as I was expecting, which is something that might not be understood for many listeners, so go experience it for yourself.
Written by John Jackson
1. Imago Dei
2. I’ve Seen Them Fall
3. Eve of the Day of the Lord
4. My Tongue
5. Christus Invictus
6. Soldier Cosmic
8. Serpent Sold Soul
9. Corpus Christi
Christian “Shun” Marthiljohni – Vocals, Guitar and Bass
Adrian Trevino – Drums
Record Label: Nosral Recordings
Release Date: December 14th. 2018
Lyric video for ‘Corpus Christi’