The second release from the insanity that is Umbah, this is more of the same yet with a difference. There is distinct chunkiness in the riffing, aligning this release closer to the death/thrash camp. Some of the riffs here can cause a disjointed mosh (spastic zombie slam-dance!!!) to descend upon the listener unaware.
Another notable difference is the more expansive and free-form lead work which now sounds like an unholy communion of Alan Holdsworth and Azathoth. The drums are also more pounding, resulting in a more aggressive sound (not unlike Ministry doing death metal in some sections, albeit a Ministry in the death-throes/seizures of a ketamine overdose.)
The vocals are as sick as ever, but show definite confidence, while still being brilliantly manic (infact in places sounding like Maniac being buggered by Al Jougersen). There is also a slight dramatic edge to some of the vocal utterances (I would kill for a lyric sheet).
Once again the album has a cohesive feel, with each song being a complete unique entity without relying at all on the same bag of tricks. A single song can run the gamut from thrash to death to black to industrial to gothic within minutes yet sound natural doing it. And Umbah has brilliant songwriting, vaguely churning within a cyber-grind context yet never catering to the cliches.
The best bit here is that it all sounds disturbing and dark, even the ultra-fast spacier instrumental moments,coming across like a spaceship entering a cosmos populated enitrely by the elder ones.
Hats off to Cal for continually being ground-breaking with each succesive album and managing to sound unlike any band you can think of. This is another stake through the heart of conventional metal mediocrity. Look for further Umbah reveiws coming soon as well as a planned interview with the madman, Cal himself.
01 – Bola Ana Kal
02 – Burnt Bridge
03 – Cerebral Perplexity
04 – Chameleon Suit Pirhana
05 – Discontinuity
06 – Febuary Feast
07 – Spine Bell
08 – The Astral Calm
09 – The Sound Of Her Wings
10 – Unveil The Shadow
11 – Snow Crash