Thursday, December 15, 2011

Uzala - "Uzala" (2012) [At War With False Noise/Witch Sermon]

Nothing beats a solid doom metal album. Remember that time you listened to Born Too Late? Of course you do; the classics are untouchable, but one needs to remember just how ambitious bands like St. Vitus, Pentagram, Trouble, and Black Sabbath were (fuck it, are). Worship bands just don't cut it. I mean, sure, laying down a thick, Tony Iommi-inspired riff is one of the greatest feelings in the world, but, and I know I'm going to get ridiculed for this, it's been done before. It's almost as if the creative power found within the original doom metal masters of Tony Iommi, Bruce Franklin, Rick Wartell, and Wino Weinrich, among many others, never went past their generation. This significant creative lack leads to an overabundance of bands rehashing Master of Reality riff; every new band simply a blur of whichever other one was started last week. Thankfully, we have Uzala.

Boise, Idaho, newcomers Uzala, fronted by extraordinarily talented tattoo-artist-couple Chad Remains (guitars and "hellish vocals") and Darcy Nutt (bass and vocals), while still paying homage to where it is due, brings some long-overdue ambition to a style that is, frankly, stuck in the past. Warm, fuzzy, Sunn-head-into-Orange-cab guitars deliver a happy medium between spacey psychedelia, rocking riffs, and pummeling, ever so slow doom metal. Joining the ranks of fellow female-fronted doom metal bands as The Wounded Kings and Jex Thoth, Uzala's "modern vintage" sound is both oddly familiar as it is strikingly fresh, drawing upon signature, classic doom metal ideas and modern, expansive atmospheres. A creeping dream, Uzala might be gentle and slow one minute, but at any given moment could explode into a hellish, metallic groove. To put it frankly, Uzala is absolutely fucking sweet.

Uzala absolutely impressed me with their self-titled debut album, and instilled me with a little hope for traditional-leaning doom metal bands. Is ambition contagious? I certainly hope so. Be sure to pick up a copy of this stellar album on LP from At War With False Noise or cassette (with a special bonus track) from Witch Sermon Productions. 2012 is panning out to be a big year for Uzala, so be sure to keep an eye out for a 10" on King of the Monsters Records and a split with fellow "Gloomy Sunday" coverers Pallbearer. Things are looking good for Uzala, mighty good, indeed.


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