The brain is a terrible thing to waste. Or to enrich for the matter that concerns us.
Underground headz that were already around in the 90s might recall the existence of Death Metal
. Hailing from Britain, the band garnered positive reviews and gathered a solid cult following mostly because they were Death dealers of the simplest kind. In your face, old school Death Metal
and that’s what they got praised for.
When the band finally split up after three albums, Cal Scott, at the time, lead guitar in Necrosanct
, went on to create his own personal project. And
here is Umbah
, which is defined in ATMF's bio as avant-garde atmospheric Death Metal
. Well, well, well, what a nice combination of words.
's eleventh record. Quite frankly, I didn't get to know the first ten so it may be difficult for me to tell you if Umbah
's music evolved over the years or if it's always been the same. It's hard for me to find anything that comes close to being labeled Death Metal
in this record. Maybe on the track "Blessed
Be All Wars” the riffing may be though as Death Metal
and you get some occasional growling on “A Happy Story” notably but I know plenty of bands that use Death Metal
vocals and yet do not play Death Metal
's music is very much what you’d label Industrial music. Vocals even made me think of Marilyn Manson
on most songs even though the music is rather different. The most obvious references for me musically are bands like Scorn
or GGFH. There's something really "fucked up" (pardon my French) about how all songs are (de)constructed and it makes for a harsh “noise” experience which will definitely not leave you untouched.
While this is arguably anything close to Death Metal
, songs have their own momentum and have some catchy parts which even lean on the “pop” side. This is an interesting Industrial record but the overabundance of variety makes it hard to grasp at first and will rebuke most listeners at first. That
is unless you’re a fan of bands such like Pigface
which revel in the de-structuration of music.
Which brings us back to my first statement. Too much in too little time. Umbah
’s music is like rich food. The first bite is like explosions in your mouth and you find yourself wanting to get all the tastes at once however varied they may be. The second bite, you start to acquire the differences but at the same time, something unpleasant develops around your taste buds. On third bite, you’re just fed up. What tasted like a kaleidoscope of savors is just too many ingredients at the same time.
Which makes me wonder how Cal Scott apprehended this whole project. Was Necrosanct
just too plain simple and dull for him that he found himself wanting to spice things up to the extent of "tolerance"? Maybe.
I don’t think I’ll mind playing Trilobeth
again but just not the whole thing at once because it is too overwhelming. Each song taken separately displays some avalanche of ideas, but damn, 13 songs… That
’s like a fucking maelstrom and quite frankly, I can't take it.