UNEARTHLY TRANCE Return From Kinda-Hiatus To Bring The Doom
March 29, 2017, a year ago
New York sludge/doom band Unearthly Trance broke up back in 2012, although the three dudes in the band proceeded to play similarly low-and-slow tunes in Serpentine Path when Unearthly Trance was inactive, so it was kinda like they were never gone. Cut to 2015, and they decided to reunite Unearthly Trance and give it another shot, and sludge and doom fans are reaping the benefits of that decision here now in 2017.
“When Serpentine Path started to fade away, we really wanted to go back to what we really enjoy doing, and I think having that amount of time away from it really gave us perspective,” says guitarist/vocalist Ryan Lipynski. “We learned how much we really did want to do it again. Taking a break was the perfect thing for us, so it kinda worked out good. The time away from the band definitely gave us a lot more energy and excitement; once we did get a chance to do it, it felt like maybe in the past we took it for granted but now it feels like that's really important to us again, so it feels good.”
They took those good feelings and made Stalking The Ghost, their first album since 2010's V. Granted, Stalking The Ghost isn't filled with good feelings, but opener “Into The Spiral” is a surprisingly upbeat affair, one that finds the band in spirits that are as high as they'll ever be and it also shows that, sure, this is the same Unearthly Trance as it always was, but they're not afraid to mix things up a little bit.
“That song came together quickly,” says Lipynski. “We felt it was a cool opener because it kinda hits you right away. I think we looked at the album before, V, where it [opened with] this long feedback and this really slow first riff. We just wanted to come out of the gate different this time around, to catch people's attention. I think our focus was to do a more straightforward, focused record, so I think coming out with the first song being more upbeat, more headbanging speed, we wanted to lay that down as an intro to what's to come, rather than putting it at the end of the album or something. We felt it was a great first song.”
Lipynski says that during the time off, the band members “grew up a bit” and learned what they didn't want to do this time around. For him, it's about taking control of the situation and learning from what the band has been through in the past.
“Maybe before we broke up there was a lot of stuff going on where, you know, some people are more checked out than others, and I was taking the brunt of a lot of band business stuff and I think I was burned out on it, and just not into dealing with a lot of crazy stuff. I think I needed a break probably more than anyone.”
Lipynski says that even though there's been some excitement about the band returning, it's more or less business as usual for the guys, whether it was Unearthly Trance round one, Serpentine Path, or Unearthly Trance round two.
“Some people are like, 'Wow, these guys are back!' but for us, it didn't even feel like we went anywhere,” he says. “It's not like we stopped doing music and surfaced all these years later. So it just feels the same for us. We just shifted focus for a while.”