Pacific northwest trio Uzala have laid sonic waste to your ears in the form of “Tales of Blood & Fire”. Along with fellow geographical doomers, Ephemeros, this part of the country seem to be breeding one quality metal act after another. Throw in other acts like Atriarch and Agalloch and one begins to wonder just what are they putting in the water in that part of the country.
Uzala plays a really great fuzzed out metal with a doom sound, reminiscent of some of the early US doom metal bands and a hint of sludge thrown in for good measure. ‘Seven Veils’ opens this latest Uzala chapter. I was immediately struck with the vocals of Darcy Nutt, a cross between the Grace Slick of early Jefferson Airplane and Alannah Miles, no other word captures her voice better than sultry. I have to admit that I have never been able to use the word sultry, metal, and doom all in the same thought before but Darcy has it. Her voice just hit me hard and blew me away. The riffs and grooves delivered by Chad, Chuck, and Darcy are slow creative and downright infectious. They provide the perfect stage for Darcy’s vocals and in return Darcy’s vocals bring out the music. It is a near perfect symbiotic relationship.
Drifting further in the mystical realm through ‘Dark Days’ Burned’ and ‘Countess’ we are assaulted with deeper and deeper hooks and grooves. They have really put forth a great series of notes and chords that captivate the listener. Just when they think you might be losing interest the vocal drop in. ‘Dark Days’ especially channels some of the delivery perfected by Ms Slick and are so damn effective, I was captured for the entirety of the tracks.
The beauty of this music doesn’t come fully in a car speaker system, it is through headphones that all the nuisances come to light and the vocals take full effect. ‘Tenement of the Lost’ is the closer and longest running track on the LP. This one brings out more of the bands musical efforts, and shows they can run a long track that keeps the listener begging for more. Great fuzzed out effort and great slow tempo, to capture what one can imagine is a dark day in the northwest of my country.
In short this is a damn good release, the vocals are sultry and go right through you, with the music providing the perfect backdrop. Well composed and executed musically, you can really feel the emotion and dedication to the craft this trio brings. If you have not heard of Uzala it is highly recommended, you will not be disappointed at their arrangements. Uzala, well done and keep it coming.