The cultish and furry-toned drone of Portland (and Idaho) foursome Uzala will be familiar to anyone pulled by the gravity of Megaton Leviathan‘s Water Wealth Hell on Earth, but on their self-titled debut vinyl/tape, Uzala are less concerned with expansive, infinite exploration than they are refining the process and cutting it into songs. Uzala‘s Uzala sounds open and rough in its production, but at the core there is a base of structure — it’s in there somewhere — that allows the noise a foundation to rest and build upon.
That winds up making a big difference as the album progresses. The lead vocals of guitarist Darcy Nutt provide an ethereal mood worthy of the latest incarnation of The Wounded Kings or Jex Thoth, but the black metal influences worked in by guitarist Chad Remains, who also provides backing screams behind Nutt‘s varied crooning on midsection songs like “Fracture” and “Wardrums,” put Uzala in a category more their own: definitively doomed, but working on an expanded definition of what that means.
At its strongest points, though, Uzala‘s Uzala is slow and classically menacing. Drummer Stephen Gere varies his tempo but seems to lumber no matter the speed, and bassist Nick Phit (ex-Graves at Sea, Atriarch) offsets the riffs with doomly groove, adding depth to the fuzz and reverb-soaked guitar lines and furthering the sense of ritual brought out in Nutt‘s singing.
The album is limited to 333 LPs through At War with False Noise and on cassette via Witch Sermon Productions. I was lucky enough to be given permission to host the cassette-only bonus track, “Cataract” for your streaming, which you’ll find on the player below, followed by some PR wire info. Please enjoy:
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At long last, the blistering debut recording from one of the most-talked about doom bands of the past year is nearly within our grasp! Boise/Portland vintage doom merchants Uzala have aligned themselves with At War With False Noise and Witch Sermon Productions to unleash their monumental debut. The self-titled album will be manifested in wax by At War With False Noise, while Witch Sermon will handle the cassette version (which will feature a special bonus track, “Cataract”). Featuring Nick Phit (formerly of Graves at Sea, Atriarch) on bass, Uzala‘s lineup is rounded out by drummer Stephen Gere, guitarist/hellish vocalist Chad Remains, and chanteuse & axe-slinger Darcy Nutt (a world-renowned tattoo artist and devastating talent).
The album’s crushing, velvety fuzzed-out sound is attained by a Blake Green (Wolvserpent) production and mastering by long-time At War with False Noise cohort Andy Lippoldt of Persistence in Mourning. The simply amazing artwork was created by vocalist /guitarist Darcy Nutt, while layout and design was summoned by Stephen O’Malley.Tags: At War with False Noise, Boise, Idaho, Oregon, Portland, Uzala, Witch Sermon Productions