Underdark - Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry

 


Key Facts

Country: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Genre: Post-black Metal

Release Date: 30th July 2021

Record Label(s): Surviving Sounds


Band Members 

Abi Vasquez - Vocals

Adam Kinson - Guitar 

Dan Hallam - Drums

Ollie Jones - Guitar 

Stephen Waterfield - Bass


Underdark - Coyotes

 

Review
Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry, Coyotes, With Ashen Hands Around Our Throats, Qeres

Only a few bands have made the impact that Underdark have on the evolving and expanding UK black metal scene. Combining the dreamlike melancholy of post metal with the harsh and unforgiving sounds of black metal to create an eerie and emotive sonic identity that makes the band stand out from their contemporaries. Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry is the highly anticipated debut album from the Nottingham quintet, and marks the sound of a new chapter for the band. Lyrically the album addresses a variety of personal issues such as addiction & psychosis, to more political and relevant topics such inhumane border control and the shameless exploitation of the lower classes at the hands of landlords. With the troubled and hard times in which the UK finds itself in, this album is sure to resonate with a variety of people on many levels. 

There is a beautiful ugliness to this album, which had been carved out of visceral intuition and pure, raw emotive power. The aggressive yet haunting nature of the album resonates every fibre of your being and soul, working through your nervous system to paralyse you with an all encompassing melancholy. Having such an emotional weight behind the album combined with the band's unique approach to blending shoegaze and black metal helps the band stand out considerably. With that in mind, there is something celestial about the album, as if you are hurtling through the atmosphere at terminal velocity or floating in some dark water like the glowing body adorning the album's cover. With the lyrics covering the aforementioned topics the innately pensive reflections that it triggers in your mind is intensely emotional and moving. This makes the music almost tangible, as if it is embracing you in it's despair. With Ashen Hands Around Our Throats demonstrates this heavy emotional pull the most effectively, with raw black metal aggression at it's forefront the contrasting atmospherics contained within the melodies circulate around you, contrasting the chaos with subtle nuance. With these two elements combined, the song has a profound effect on the listener as it takes you down its turbulent path of the people the lyrics talk about. In a world where the property market is impossible to get on for first time buyers, this song stands as a direct call out to the corrupt landlords taking advantage of the poor, making them live in uninhabitable buildings. The soundscapes first laid out on the album's opener Qeres, sets the tone for the rest of the album making it thoroughly absorbing and once the big riffs kick in, it is an utterly overwhelming experience. Each song seems to effortlessly transition into the next, which continually evolves and develops the intense and stunning atmospheres. This makes the album dynamically rich, keeping you on the edge of your seat in eager anticipation as to what will happen next. Coyotes feels like the most anthemic track on the album, it's riffs and atmospheres swell and unfold into a cacophony of soaring melody and thundering drum blasts. The song is an aggressive and raging anthem against the tyranny that occurs at the Mexico border with the USA. As people are subjected to inhuman treatment the song echoes the false hope that people are often fed before being caged like animals, making it an intense and dark listen that is poignant, compelling and profound. Overall, the album is an overwhelming burst of intense emotion. The highly developed and carefully crafted songwriting makes sure that the album delivers on all possible fronts and it will quite possible change the face of black metal in the UK and beyond.

The album's production is phenomenal. A rich textural and layered production brings out the very best of the songs, as with each listen you find something new to focus on. These little intricacies help create the emphatic and oddly contradictorily euphoric atmospheres and soundscapes of the melodies and rhythms. The clean guitars are very shoegaze orientated, the various layers of delay and reverb help build an ethereal back drop to the black metal rooted rhythm and leads guitars. The distortion of the main guitars offers an impactful punch that is supported by the powerful and precise tone of the bass. The bass itself fills all the gaps the treble heavy guitars leave, teaming up perfectly with the kick drum to create a pile driver of an impact rhythmically. The kick is heavy, thick alongside a kit that sounds ridiculously tight. The snare's presence never dwindles throughout the album, piercing through the chaos with purpose. Overall, the album's mix is incredible, retaining some black metal rawness but doubling down on the sonic aggression much like a deathcore band would at breakdowns. It certainly pulls no punches that's for sure! 

Very few albums have the capacity to completely shift a genre's direction but Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry will do just that. Once heard, the layout of black metal will be changed for good. Underdark's  blistering debut will be released on 30th July. 

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