Umbakrail - _In Unity Paienne_
(DeadSun Records, 2001)
by: David Rocher (4 out of 10)
The brainchild of one man, S'aamed, Umbakrail fuses raw black metal with rather distinctive, shape-shifting keyboards and vocals. The outcome, however, fails to whet my appetite; although the music on _In Unity Paienne_ is obviously the work of a truly tortured soul (according to the enclosed bio, S'aamed apparently attempted to put an end to his life last year), I fail to make out anything more than mostly stereotypical black metal with a terrible guitar fuzz and linear drum machine programming, truly grim vocals that are frequently badly let down by frightfully cheesy proclamatory chants, and keyboards which unfortunately sound out of place, and are excessively loud in the mix, to make matters worse. Only one track, the intriguing "Dome", actually hits home, and the remainder of _In Unity Paienne_, whether tentatively chilling black metal onslaughts or synthetic interludes, simply fails to convey anything to me. Referential bands such as vintage Burzum or Darkthrone have shown the path in terms of raw, chilling black metal releases, spawning, in their wake, genuinely talented and unhallowed formations such as Craft [CoC #53], and unfortunately, the project named Umbakrail can not -- as of yet, at all rates -- claim to shed the same blackness as its predecessors.

(article published 12/4/2002)

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