UADA – “Cult Of A Dying Sun” (Eisenwald)
Uada is Latin for ‘haunted’ but it’s also black metal from the pacific northwest. Formed just 4 years ago by guitarist / vocalist Jake Superchi (MotörThrone, Serpent Lord, The Dead, Thy Emptiness), UADA have risen meteorically thanks to their 2016 debut “Devoid Of Light” which, despite being American, owes more to the Scandinavian style of melodic black metal, right down to the album cover by Kris Verwimp (Marduk, Immortal). Touring intensely since then, this sophomore, which interestingly was written around the same time, has now been birthed, albeit to a new line up. Typically intense with massive amounts of raw metallic melodies and matching larynx shredded vocals (along with a few pagan howls), there are also ambient moments that are reflective of Superchi’s spiritual connection to the solitude of nature and the silence of the mountains, such as on the pagan instrumental ‘The Wanderer’, complete with shamanic chanting. Likewise, the use of other styles like shoegaze, folk and punk rock n roll, albeit in subtle aspects ensures that UADAs material is fresh and exciting to the listener, as well as reflecting a talent and determination that has been in the making for over 20 years since Superchi was a kid. Definitely an album to be listened to as a whole from start to finish as I’m sure Superchi intended it to be, given the majority of the 7 songs here clock over the 6 minute mark, it’s pretty clear that the art inherent in the compositions goes well beyond music but into something far deeper that reflects part of the essence of the founder himself, and a desire to express that emotionally through the experiences here, making “Cult Of A Dying Sun” a truly powerful affair. It’s clearly evident from the 9 minute ‘Snakes & Vultures’ with its deep bass and grooves soon blast beating into metallic clanging bliss before the mixed vocals of screamo and roars all collude to create a mesmerising soundscape. With slow, powering drums heralding the 8 minute title track ‘Cult Of A Dying Sun’, Superchi’s vocals evolve to become more sickly and primordial while the deep riffs reach near epic proportions as they chunder into your soul, crashing as the drums beat in a tribal frenzy before a wailing heavy metal solo creates a soulful interlude to a more pagan ending as the vocals reach fever pitch – awesome. Closing this sophomore is the 10 minute beast of ‘Mirrors’, again led by clanging guitars and a strong nordic melody, interspersed with blast beats although remaining typically intense throughout, thanks to the energetic performance almost verging on possession! A truly superior release that will not leave you untouched, it’s little wonder that UADA are already making strong headway into Europe.