Third Island are a post-metal band formed in 2015 and based in Limerick, Ireland. Aiming to create a unique sound, the band draws from a wide array of influences including doom, post rock, shoegaze, sludge, progressive and stoner rock to experiment within their post-metal framework. Using huge guitar tones and against a backdrop of slow, pummeling rhythms, they set out to create a stifling, dark atmosphere tinged with haunting melodies, contrasted against itself through varied structures.
It’s been a little while since we checked in with Third Island. Following up their debut release Omelas, the band are back on the 29th November with their new album, Unspeakable. The second full length and fifth release by Third Island, is themed around a selection of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, with each song lyrically following a different story.
Without compromising the heavy doominess and post-metal taste of what we’ve come to expect from them, Third Island deliver a much more refined and melodic listen here. A layered album, the eight tracks that make up Unspeakable are thought-provoking and dark, often the hopelessness of the music matching up nicely with the subject matter.
Talking of which, Lovecraft is always an interesting subject matter to be inspired by and Third Island certainly do the horror legend justice. Not just lyrically but in making each track feel like as confounding and puzzling as the author’s work. You never know what you’re going to get next but rest assured that it will be cold and dark.
The strength in the Unspeakable comes from the the mournful heaviness, where two different style of vocals work in tandem. One clean and clear, the other gruff and throaty. These, over deep cuts of post/doom rhythm, are very appealing. The likes of ‘Til A’The Seas, Dunwich and It Wakes creeping and crawling up towards you and before you even know it, you’re in caught in a vice-like grip.
Third Island can be so damn heavy but their disconcerting approach to how that comes out on Unspeakable is memorable as hell. Ward is a standout example of a track that is brutally heavy while confounding the mind with squealing guitars and savage drumming. It and the others like Cyclopian Ruins really get under the skin. Really deep under the skin, where no matter how maddening the itch is, you can’t get relief.
Third Island – Unspeakable Full Track Listing:
1. ‘Til A’The Seas
5. Cyclopian Ruins
7. The Colour
8. It Wakes
Third Island - Unspeakable (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9/10