Umbra Noctis - _Luce Oltre il Confine_
(Independent, 2006)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (6.5 out of 10)
There is something familiar to Umbra Noctis' first self-released mini CD. Perhaps it is their Mediterranean vibe, or the fact that I listened to a lot of Rotting Christ, Varathron and Moonspell in their formative years. Not that these Italians sound too much like the aforementioned bands, but they certainly evoke similar feelings with their music.

The two minute intro is for once interesting, and sets the mood nicely for the fast-paced black metal attack that follows in the remaining four tracks. There is not much originality here, indeed at many points I get that déjà-vu feeling of being reminded of one band or another, never though managing to pinpoint it exactly. At the same time, they make up for it with competent musicianship, good production, some clean vocals which provide variation, mid-paced sections and a general enthusiasm in the songs.

The four main songs that make up most of the EP are quite similar to each other, but they keep your interest throughout without becoming tedious. The rhythm section is almost as prominent as the guitars, providing the recording with a nice full bass tapestry, making it sound heavy and deep. I particularly like the harsh vocal lines, sang in their native Italian language. They remind me of early recordings of some elite Norwegian black metal bands. Not a bad comparison.

Despite being their first release, _Luce Oltre il Confine_ sounds more accomplished than many demo or first releases I have heard. I am very interested to see where their chosen paths will lead them. For now, _Luce Oltre il Confine_ is released by the band in a limited number of copies, and I would certainly recommend you snatch up one for your collection.


(article published 10/11/2006)

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