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Umbra Nihil : Enough, Or Too Much!

It seems like one new Finnish doom act is popping up after the other. If there was any doubt that Finland is the new Doom country, it should be gone now. Like most of their fellow countrymen, Umbra Nihil offers us nihilistic monotonous doom, but with a bizarre melodic element.

Umbra Nihil sort of reminds me of early Katatonia mixed with some sparse elements of early My Dying Bride, but somehow it doesn't sound like either of these bands. Their music is much more catatonic and nihilistic. While the music can be fairly melodic, it always remains slow and bleak, making sure that the experience of doom lasts. Everything has been down tuned and even the grunts sound as if they are coming from some lower plane of existence. The more melodic sections however keep the whole from being pure depression. As such creating a rather odd situation, low down doom that hovers in a state of eternal limbo.

A song like 'Determination' really pulls you down with it. While the vocalist sounds as if he is drowning, the listener seems to drown along with him, being pulled further and further down into the music and not being able to breathe. Like the song itself is trying to suffocate you. Oddly enough the song after that 'Water in Lungs' sounds as if you have already drowned. It has a sort of aquatic and surreal feel to it. It conjures up an image of some drowned corpse floating in the water, looking out of it's watery eyes, somehow still trying to reach out to the world.

There are moments when the band reminds me of Aarni (which whom they will actually release a split). Both bands have that odd vibe around them. This type of music neither lifts you up, nor brings you down. It keeps you in a continuous and uncomfortable state of limbo (and yes, this is a compliment). This really is music to suffer to for eternity. Dead in the water, and not going anywhere. Hopeless, meaningless, empty.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Follow & Believe / Fall without Relief
2. A Mere Shell
3. My Way to the Lakeshore
4. Determination
5. Water in Lungs

Duration : Approx. 35 minutes.

Visit the Umbra Nihil bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
Aesthetic Death
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