I was first introduced to Uada by Jonas; he had sent me a message during a time when I was deeply invested into the MMO Elder Scrolls Online. If you know anyone who plays MMOs, you know that sometimes it can be difficult to communicate with them. The message sent to me sat in my inbox for about a week until a rage quit had forced me out of the ESO hole. I saw the message and paid no mind to it, as I don't often expand my music library. A few days had passed and I found myself free of the ambition to waste my days playing video games and decided to clean my house. While cleaning, I decided to give Uada a chance, and holy fuck am I glad I did. This album very quickly rose through my rotation until it was the number one album I listened to the most. The energy is non-stop, and it is a fresh take on the classic Black Metal sound. Stylistically, the album has moments where it is reminiscent of the old-guard except with superior sound quality. The album separates itself with the moments of pure intensity, where it seems like a wall of sound is annihilating your ears, in a good way; most bands that try this approach usually fall short of their goal, but the way Uada builds into these moments is absolutely perfect. Black Metal is known for it's distinct riffs, and somehow Uada captures this Black Metal sound, while at the same time sounding very unique. The opening song, The Purging Fire, has one of the greatest riffs I have heard in Black Metal; comparable even to Burzum and Bathory. The energy of the opening track perfectly embodies the entire album, with moments of pure Black Metal morphing into melody and building to that massive sonic attack I spoke of earlier. As we have done in the past on the podcast, I will be breaking this album down using an aggregate score of the following categories:
Composition - 9/10
The musical composition of this album is absolutely incredible. The distinct melodic black metal sound is very difficult to accomplish while staying original and unique, but Uada does it very well as the sound they have achieved is undeniably unique to them.
Lyrics - 8/10
Lyrics in Black Metal are often centered around common themes; death, darkness, pagan anti-christian beliefs. While Cult of a Dying sun definitely covers these themes in their lyrics, they also address philosophical, psychological and spiritual themes, which is more common among the technical death metal and progressive scene. It comes as no surprise that Uada is blending genres with their sound, as their lyrics seem to do the same.
Production - 9/10
The production on this album is simply great. No matter how busy the songs get, nothing seems to get drowned out. Ever present low volume riffs even make it through the deafening howl of the vocalist while all coming together with the drums and bass to create a near perfect wall of sound. In the quiet moments of the album, the production really shines, as it is extremely engaging and atmospheric.
Brutality - 7/10
While not a particularly vital component of Black Metal, brutality is something that I often look for in my metal. While the sound at times can be brutal as hell, the range of sound seems to split the album between being both brutal and atmospheric. Overall the album has a great flow, and the range works perfectly.
Album Artwork - 10/10
Easily one of my favorite album covers. I admire very bleak and dark artwork, and this album artwork fits the albums sound perfectly.
Overall - 8.6/10
This album wins album of the year for 2018 for me and has quickly rose to my top 10 all-time favorites. This one was also an eye opener for me, as I almost didn't listen to it due to my close mindedness; it has certainly changed the way I approach new music. This is one of the few albums that I know will never fall out of my rotation. Thank you Uada for this masterpiece. Would I listen to this album again? Fuck yes I will Would I recommend this album to friends and metalheads alike? Does an eclipse encase the world in shadows? Fuck yes.