VISITING ACT: UnexpecT 

In the Flesh: The schizo metal of UnexpecT

click to enlarge Canada's Unexpect: Untypical
  • Canada's Unexpect: Untypical

"Megalomaniac Trees" from the album In A Flesh Aquarium
Audio File

In some bizarre parallel universe Jim Henson decided that he didn't want to produce educational fare like Sesame Street. He didn't want to create a family friendly enterprise like The Muppet Show. Instead he wanted to make slaughtermatic horror movies starring his hand-puppet creations. There's Kermit with an ax. Whack. There's Fozzy with a chainsaw. Buzz buzz buzz. There's Miss Piggy with a ... well, Miss Piggy would eat her victims alive, with or without fava beans and a nice Chianti. And in that universe, the sounds of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the Muppet Show house band, would probably sound an awful lot like Montreal-based experimental metal outfit UnexpecT.

Guitarist/vocalist syriaK, guitarist/vocalist Artagot, keyboardist/sampler Exod, bassist Chaoth, vocalist Leïlindel, and violinist Borboën make the kind of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, circus-carnival-snuff-film mash-up made famous by merry prankster Mike Patton and his bands Mr. Bungle and Fantomas.

Of course, few bands attempt this sort of thing, and with good reason — it sounds like an episode of the reality TV show Arkham Asylum, well, that is if there was a TV show based on the straight-jacket home of the Joker, Two-Face, and all the other crazy-sexy-cool fiends from Batman's rogue gallery.

According to Borboën, UnexpecT is influenced by Bungle, old horror movies, and "pretty much anything in that universe of creepy funny things."

But when it comes to the music, the band doesn't aim to creep listeners out. They want to enlighten them in ways that were previously unimaginable, sonically speaking. "We all came from different themes, different kinds of music. The keyboardist is more into electronics. Me, I'm the violionist; I'm more into classical and jazz. Both guitarists are, of course, into the metal scene," Borboën says. "We are just trying to mix up all of this and make something new or different."

Of course, sometimes that means confusing the hell out of the uninitiated, especially the folks they've been playing for lately on the death metal circuit. —Chris Haire

UnexpecT share the bill with Nile, Suicide Silence, The Faceless, and Warbringer at the Music Farm (32 Ann St., 843-577-6969) on Fri. April 4. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($13.50 adv.). Check out www.unexpect.com for more.


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