Umbah - _Enter the Dagobah Core_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2010)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
_Enter the Dagobah Core_ is as fun as it is goofy; metallic as it is almost mainstream; wacky and psycho as it is almost conventional. Here, we could sum things up and move on. But Umbah's music must be at least described, if loosely, otherwise you wouldn't have a clue about what's going on here and whether you should be bothered by its existence. Really, you wouldn't have a clue...

This is metal par excellence, because it enlivens the core of metal's unwritten laws; the main ones would have to be: re-invent, excite, renew, create, experiment. Umbah does all that and more, going to lengths in order to prove it is worthy. The current sole member, Cal Scott (from the semi-legendary British death metal band Necrosanct), experiments with so many musical approaches, many of which are foreign to metal altogether (electronica in abundance, different high-pitched vocal approaches so of which are processed, popular music arrangements, some techno music innuendos, theatrical bits and pieces) your head could easily spin and equilibrium could be lost just listening to one track.

But here's the beauty: Cal Scott makes everything sound cohesive and related to everything else. The goofy parts are suddenly attacked by a ferocious blasting maelstrom, which in turn equalizes the cheesiness factor; the ridiculously melodramatic or emo-style vocals are abruptly clipped and make way to a metallic vitriol charged with death metal's aesthetics, and so on and so forth.

One will be dazzled, bewildered and stupefied listening to this album. Many heads will spin with the many plot twists here; twists so alien to each other, yet they combine perfectly resulting in what could only be the original vision of metal music. Anyone into metal with a severe, incurable ADHD syndrome, that is fun and extraordinary; people who love their metal charged with dichotomies, absurdities and experimental to the hilt without sounding too 'out-there'; aficionados of avantgarde done right or just those who are into bad-ass electronic music that's heavy and dynamic -- take heed. This candy of an album is for you, as it embodies so many of the genre's experimental forefathers (Atheist, Carnival in Coal, Nocturnus, Old Lady Drivers, Pan-Thy-Monium, to name only few) and pays homage to each and every one of that with the fullest respect, and yet delivers something that is so entirely singular you would be either jaw-dropped or vomit your dinner upon listening to this enigma. You will not be able, however, to stay apathetic. And that's the whole idea behind music...

(article published 16/9/2012)


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