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on September 12, 2006
It isn't very common these days for an album to really surprise me and stop me in my tracks on account of it being so bizarre. Fortunately, I'm glad to say that this is one of those albums, and it's a very refreshing feeling. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I possess a sufficiently surreal vocabulary and a vivid enough imagination to properly translate this aural mindf**k into words.

"In A Flesh Aquarium" is a schizophrenic genre trip... only with all involved genres being turned inside out and twisted beyond any form of immediate recognition. There are possible points of reference, but they are sort of vague - certain moments remind me heavily of what Maudlin of the Well's experiments in amalgamation might have sounded like if Toby Driver and the guys had recorded them during a tour through oblivion instead of a journey through the astral realm of dreams or whatever the hell they were doing; others bring to mind what Ram-Zet might sound like if they dropped some of the melancholy and added about 200% theatrical adventurism; moments that bring to mind classic Russian folk music; and stuff that really does sound like the Cirque du Soleil gone black metal. There are even moments that remind me of Mr. Bungle and Primus, and very specific excerpts in certain songs that wouldn't have much trouble passing for The Dresden Dolls.

The vocals are all over the place. Guitarists/vocalists Syriak and Artagoth trade off raging screams, black metal-ish shrieks, and death metal-ish growls. Occasionally they will let up for some dark spoken narrative, and sometimes to harmonize in odd fashion with female vocalist Leilindel, who by the way is very adept and delivers in a voice that's scattered all over the spectrum. Very emotive, very fluid.

The arrangements are unreal... blistering metal will give way to jazzy acoustic pieces, which will give way to classical interludes that slowly build into a heavily orchestrated version of something you might hear at a circus, which will in turn diminish into a darkly ambient stretch of atmosphere... and just like that will drop back into an unrelenting metal assault, only to be broken by a solo female vocal piece backed by a cinema-scopic electronic canvas, which will again drop into spastic metal which slowly morphs into a Waltz-like section... and on, and on, and on. Dynamics are key. I'm not talking soft-loud-soft-loud-soft-build-build-explode type dynamics prevalent among bands like Neurosis and Isis, nor am I talking about the effective yet somewhat predictable genre-hopping of bands like Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere, and Tub Ring... the stuff here is everywhere all at once while never being in any one particular place at any particular time. This is an ultimate example of unbridled artistic expression wrapped up in musical form.

The playing is phenomenal and frenetic, and ChaotH's bass work especially deserves special mention. The keyboards come in a variety of different styles, from acoustic piano melodies to atmospheric backgrounds, and even all out electronic soundscapes like the tracks 'Silence_011010701' and 'The Shiver - Another Dissonant Chord', the latter being complemented by Leilindel's erratic vocals. The drumming is fast, technical, and diverse, but I have to say that the guy can get a bit out of control with the double bass at times. Violins courtesy of Le Bateleur (who has since left the band I believe) add a nice touch, but nothing really show-stopping save for a few prominent and well-placed lines that pop up occasionally.

"In A Flesh Aquarium" is turbulent, dissonant, chaotic, tranquil, somber, beautiful, theatrical, and WAY out in left field.

I love it.
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on January 11, 2007
This album is a mixture of death and black metal, progressive, jazz, classical music and much more. Song structure is torn to pieces - so much that it can be compared to Mr Bungle or Fantomas - but there is one difference: this one makes sense. Material is melodic (in a pretty sick way), creative and furious. There are 7 people in the band. As I said, lot of stuff can be heard on this album. All sorts of vocals pop up from everywhere, since there are 4 vocalists in the band. The band mambers' playing skills are impressive. Every note is there where they wanted it to be. Although their music is chaotic, these guys know exactly what they are doing. Atmosphere and emotion on the album is pretty unique. Violin, saxophone and clarinet gave a big contribution to it. The only band I can really compare them to in conceptual sense is the band called Abonos. Lyrics are a mess too. They are mainly in English, but there is one song in Hungarian and there are some backward French parts.

Amazon recommended this album to me and I'm very grateful for that, because I would never found this band out otherwise. This is the music for everybody's ears. I strongly advise you to hear the samples before you order.

This album is my avantgarde metal favorite for 2006.
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on July 29, 2007
I have been into this bizarre/Avant-garde type of music for a long time and with Mr. Bungle/all of its children, Estradasphere, Tub Ring, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Faxed Head, and Idiot Flesh already in my collection, I was under the impression that I had the genre/anti-genre covered.

Unexpect, however, I found to fit in very well with their friends in my CD collection. Yes, they are intense, insane, ridiculous, complex, and amazing. No, they do not do anything to overshadow the aforementioned artists. Unexpect are incredible and will freak out any of your "normal" friends, but they're not the first.

Overall, this CD is certainly worth picking up and undoubtedly more deserving of a listen than 99% of popular music.
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on December 9, 2009
How to describe In a Flesh Aquarium? That's a tough one, but all i can say is i'm very excited about this album. Stuff like this doesn't come around too often. It's completely fresh, nothing here will make you feel like you are listening to a band that's trying to fit into a particular scene. yes, they are metal, but they are not normal metal. you can't really compare this stuff to other bands, but the best way i could describe it would be like if you took Diablo Swing Orchestra, Spiral Architect, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Stolen Babies, and put them in a blender, put it on super high, and poured it into your assymetrically shape cup for avant-smoothie action. Something like that...anyways, it's a MUST BUY NOW!
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on October 19, 2011
It is a pleasure to review an album from such a great and different band!! Their sound is so particular and unique!!
I love this album and I can not stop listening to it!!
If you are the kind of people who likes to explore and listen to new and different musical styles this album is for you!
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on July 21, 2008
Unexpect are such an amazing band, but really only if you like chaotic, dissonant, psychotic music. It's wierd, because they mash together so many types of Metal - everything from classical heavy metal to black/death metal - as well as a bunch of non-metal types of music, primarily music you might expect to hear in a circus.

It really is impossible to describe their music except as chaotic and unconventional. The Amazon previews do a fairly good job with showing the diversity between the songs, but to really get an idea of what they sound like, check out their music on their MySpace page and on YouTube, and decide for yourself whether or not you'll like this crazy music.

It's kinda wierd, because you'd expect such psychotic music to sound bad, yet they manage to pull it off very well. Or perhaps it's just that it appeals to people with already psychotic minds. Well, regardless, there's certainly a market for this type of music, and I am an avid customer of it. I personally feel it takes a great deal of talent to pull this music off well, moreso than it does to make good melodic music. I mean, it's easy to make a melody sound good, but it's a lot harder to make music that sounds like it belongs in a mental hospital sound good, yet Unexpect seem to be able to do that.

So yeah, there's no way this music is going to appeal to everyone, but I say check them out, and if you like what you hear, get this album, and expect the Unexpect(ed).
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on February 18, 2009
I'm absolutely blown away by the variety on this CD. Every single song sounds different, but they are all epic, complex, beautiful, and perfect.
Unexpect are definitely talented artists. Everything from the lyrics, to the drums, to the different way they use thier voices, takes me away to different worlds. Every time I listen to this CD I can't help but think "Wow! This is so great!!"

Elements of thier music: Violin, Circus, Roar, Opera, Rock.

If you like rock, seriously buy this CD. You won't be disappointed.
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on February 19, 2010
It sounds like estradisphere with vocals. It is pretty good if you like that sort of thing. The drumming is basic for metal and the guitar melodies sound familar. Add a little violin some piano, electronics and horns occationaly and it makes it sound different enough. The songs slow down sometimes for a change in pace which is nice. Twards the end it starts to sound a little more like sleepy time gorilla museum.
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on September 6, 2008
I got to catch these guys live with Nile and they blew the crowd away. This band is nothing but pure talent and I can't wait to hear some new material!
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on September 22, 2014
Soooo random.

Anyone that likes Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, Sopor Aeternus (maybe), Diablo Swing Orchestra, and Devil Doll (italian band) will enjoy this.
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