ALBUM REVIEW: Uada - Crepuscule Natura

ALBUM REVIEW: Uada - Crepuscule Natura

"Crepuscule Natura" will be released September 8th on Eisenwald Records

Pacific northwest black metal act Uada have returned to deliver their brand of atmospheric black metal with the release of "Crepuscule Natura". One of the biggest rising bands in the black metal scene, Uada mixes classic elements of traditional black metal, with progressive metal, ethereal ambience, and traces of classic heavy metal on this new record. The follow up from their 2020 album "Djinn", the band changed and recreated their already dynamic sound and created an album that shows almost the next phase of the band. Let's dive into what these men of mystery have delivered to the masses with their new album.

Opening the album is "The Abyss Gazing Back". With a great opening riff and blast beats hitting right after, the song punches you hard in the opening few seconds. With a classic black metal sounding riff going into the verse, with nice double bass spurts throughout, the song continues to build. Creating tension and psyching the listener up for when the song goes full speed. The song also has a classic black metal sound from the early days of Dissection, but with modern day production. Drums are relentless throughout the entire song. The guttural and bellowing vocals of Jake Superchi, drenched in reverb, give off a demonic and evil sound in the vocal performance. A strong opener, setting the stage for a record that has potential to be the best black metal album of 2023.

Album artwork done by Kris Verwimp

The album's title track continues the old school meets new school of black metal that Uada does so well on all their releases. Superchi's shrieking and agony-laden vocals hit so hard in the production, juggling both high shrieks to an almost guttural death metal vocal delivery. With guitars building, accenting the vocals, pummeling double bass, and aggressive guitars, the band continues to go for the jugular on this track. The tempo change slows the song down, giving the listener reprieve, before going into an almost classic heavy metal sounding riff, which is a unique and nice touch to the song. Making it stand out and adding diversity to the band's sound. Almost paying homage to classic heavy metal bands like Judas Priest or Venom, before coming back to fast-paced, tremolo guitars and blasting black metal as the track comes to a close.

"The Dark (Winter)" opens with a heavily distorted and gritty bass into an almost uplifting guitar section. Superchi's bellowing screams pierce through the band with such vigor and animosity in the delivery. The production on the track has a classic 90's black metal feel to it. Drenched in chorus and reverb, the drums punch through in the mix. The song has elements of black metal, but also features the classic heavy metal sounding elements featured from the previous track, with another nice uptempo guitar lead section, before returning back to the driving double bass and blast beats. With gritty, fuzzy bass ringing in at the halfway mark and hanging guitar notes, the song shows the band's progressive elements and unique musicianship that makes them stand out from their peers. Just showing that with every release, Uada is just getting darker, stronger, more creative and heavier.

"Retraversing The Void" starts with a very up-tempo feel with the build of guitars and drums opening the track. The reverb-drenched tremolo guitar section reminds me of Wolves in The Throne Room in the sound and delivery, while also delivering an ethereal feel to the background of the track, which Uada delivers ambience and atmosphere very well on their releases. The cavernous vocals on the chorus, accented with unrelenting blasts and dynamic guitar playing makes the track stand out on the album. I love the guitar tone on the track, not only soaked in chorus and reverb, but the feeling of classic black metal with modern production just blends so well on this release. The diverse guitar playing and style throughout the song has elements of classic black metal, death metal, heavy metal and even metalcore. The band's eclectic sound is on full display on the song.

The album closes with the over twelve minute "Through The Wax and Through The Wane". With howling vocals, driving guitars and drums, and Superchi's shrieks, this album closer is starting strong. I love the thundering sounding drum hits on the verse section with Superchi's shrieking and guttural vocals over them. The band delves into the progressive genre heavily on the song with unique tempo changes and time signature sections, creating a cornucopia of unique musicianship on the song. The time flies by, with so many different elements of the song to get lost in, twelve minutes just flies by. The song builds to an epic crescendo with atmospheric ambience as the album draws to a dramatic close.

"Crepuscule Natura" is one of my favorite records from the band. The band pushes and challenges itself to evolve and change their sound with each record. The band has stated that this record is "an album based upon resurrection, and a recall to the band's roots, while also simultaneously expanding it's past sphere of growth." And you hear it with certain elements on the record. You hear the band's inspiration and similar vibes from the black metal roots of Dissection, to more classic heavy metal sounding riffs from the likes of Venom and Judas Priest. The band is evolving with each release and this is no doubt an evolution, and I want to see the stages of evolution this band will go through with every release. This is, by far, my favorite black metal album of 2023, and potentially one of the best albums of 2023. Uada has done black metal proud, and I look forward to following the journey this band will take its fans in the future.

SCORE: 10 / 10

Track Listing

1) The Abyss Gazing Back

2) Crepuscule Natura

3) The Dark (Winter)

4) Retraversing The Void

5) Through The Wax and Through The Wane

FFO: Dissection, Mgla, Gaerea

The band just recently announced a North American tour to promote the new album with supporting acts Ghost Bath and Cloak. To see if they are coming to your town, check out the band's website for tour dates.

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