Uada - Djinn review



Reviewer:
8.3

111 users:
7.91
Band: Uada
Album: Djinn
Release date: September 2020


01. Djinn
02. The Great Mirage
03. No Place Here
04. In The Absence Of Matter
05. Forestless
06. Between Two Worlds


Remember when black metal bands wrote riffs?

Somewhere along the evolutionary chart of black metal, musicians began experimenting with the idea of continuous dissonant loops as a primary songwriting tactic, establishing a unique style that has since gone on to be copied into stagnation almost as quickly as the rest of the second wave pioneers of the '90s. That isn't to say the works of their predecessors are incapable of being improved upon, as examples of protégé surpassing their mentors are too many to list in this context, but it's important to note that for anyone visiting this outfit in search of breaking new ground, you'll likely leave disappointed. If, however, your investigation was manifested out of a need for quality melodic black metal, Uada are here readily leading the charge into that familiar territory, armed with a rejuvenated perspective and sense of creativity, emerging with a competence rivaled by few in the scene.

Djinn had the difficult task of following up the band's incredibly popular and acclaimed sophomore effort, Cult of a Dying Sun, and despite the pressure to perform, all signs point to that target goal being achieved with relative success. Whether it surpassed expectations is another argument altogether, as the slight change in approach makes for an album more easily criticized, despite the departure's minimal significance. This is mostly due to the fact that Uada opted for a modified take in regards to the production, with a mix that thins out the guitar buzz to a lesser degree while simultaneously boosting the bass drum, giving Djinn an acoustic booster shot at the expense of the underlying darkness and grit present before. This isn't inherently a good or bad decision, but it's noticeable enough that it feels like a deviation in the way that "Aliens" shifted gears into sci-fi action away from "Alien" and its sci-fi horror. They're more than just tangentially related with a grounded connection to maintain the continuity while managing to explore the same story in a different way.

Not nearly as sinister and ominous as one might expect given their first impression of the American quartet, Uada are actually much less intense in their delivery than their image would lead you to believe. Sure, the dissonance and tremolo riffing is there, but so too is a soothing backdrop of groovy drum fills and mid-paced melodic leads, culminating in a rather accessible blend of the genre's most endearing qualities to listeners from all walks of metal life. Aside from some gruff snarls and deep, breathy growls from co-founder Jake Superchi, this sound is surprisingly digestible, even going so far at times to float on the precipice of cheese. Think Ralph Santolla plays black metal, only dialed back for pacing and atmospheric purposes, and you'll have the bulk of what makes Djinn the super fun joy ride that it is -- right up until you hear the final notes of "Between Two Worlds" and question why you listen to music using headphones with the lights off at 3 in the morning.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 14.11.2020 by I'm total pro; that's what I'm here for.


Comments

Comments: 2   Visited by: 98 users
14.11.2020 - 19:19
tominator
At best deranged
Excellent review!

I like these guys a lot. It's like you mentioned the drum fills and added melodic elements add so much to the music. And they also help with the accessibility a lot. Which in turn is probably one of the reasons why I often find myself listening to their music whenever I'm in the mood for a bit of Black Metal.

This album is really good (might slightly prefer it over the previous one). And I'd probably give this a similar score.
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14.11.2020 - 19:39
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by tominator on 14.11.2020 at 19:19

Excellent review!

I like these guys a lot. It's like you mentioned the drum fills and added melodic elements add so much to the music. And they also help with the accessibility a lot. Which in turn is probably one of the reasons why I often find myself listening to their music whenever I'm in the mood for a bit of Black Metal.

This album is really good (might slightly prefer it over the previous one). And I'd probably give this a similar score.

Thank you

My personal tastes have shifted to be more accepting of melodic metal in general over the years, and bands like Uada are a great addition to the fold. They make for an easy suggestion to anyone looking from the outside in who want to explore black metal without having to trudge through some of the more extreme and complicated outfits. Relatively easy listening, within these confines anyway. I think I prefer Cult of a Dying Sun only because the production reduces the sheen a bit compared to this, but they're both so similar in quality and sound that I really couldn't complain about listening to either one (which also applies to their debut).
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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