The murk-dwelling, psych/doom band, Uzala, has finally issued the missing puzzle piece to their brilliant self-titled debut. Collectors of vinyl were rewarded with an amazing album, albeit lacking “Cataract”—one of the band’s strongest tracks—while downloaders and cassette collectors were graced with the full nine track album. At War With False Noise has remedied the situation by releasing the ‘Cataract/Death Masque 12” Single’. While many fans may be familiar with “Cataract”, it’s an opportunity for completists and vinyl fetishists to pad out their collections while gaining an added bonus…“Death Masque”.
The Eastern-tinged “Cataract” opens the single and showcases vocalist/guitarist Darcy Nutt’s soaring, emotional vocals that easily rise above the murky din created by both the band and the production. While there are those who feel that Uzala could benefit from a cleaner, clearer production, they are totally missing the mark and “Cataract” continually reveals its many layers as the listener wades through its turbid waters. “Cataract” easily flows between majestic, drowsy-paced doom and up-tempo groove while Chad Remains’ devilish, whispered vocals sporadically slither their way through the slurry. If any song is worthy of being released as a single from the debut it is “Cataract”. Following a few distorted notes “Death Masque” drops like a clap of thunder and peals off into the darkened aether with Darcy’s vocals remaining as the only finger of light amidst the gloom. The music twists and turns from head-nodding euphoria to plodding, feedback driven freak-out. Like most of Uzala’s compositions “Death Masque” has enough complexity, depth, and shifts in tempo to remain interesting and warrant repeated listens.
Uzala has, up to this point, released one of the most unique doom metal albums of the year with their self-titled debut and have now successfully followed it with the release of the ‘Cataract/Death Masque 12” Single’. Currently there are very few bands that are successfully pushing the boundaries of doom metal and Uzala is accomplishing this by effortlessly combining doom, noise, and psychedelia all while being able to retain a consistent, atmospheric vision. Act quickly to get this very limited vinyl or download from the band’s Bandcamp page. Highly recommended.
Words: Steve Miller
(Originally published at Temple of Perdition)