Showing posts with label Uzala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uzala. Show all posts

Nov 5, 2013

Uzala - "Tales of Blood & Fire " ...

“Primitive” and “negative” are apt adjectives for doom metal. Conversely, Uzala, a melancholic doom act that splits its time between Boise, Idaho and Portland, Oregon, fit these descriptors well. As their war chant goes: arise despair!

Through huge waves of amplification and whilst riding on the angelic wings of singer/guitarist Darcy Nutt’s searing melodies, Uzala craft elegant tapestries of sonic sadness. “Tales of Fire & Blood,” the band’s second LP, is yet another ghoulish orchestration, and its five songs brilliantly display the band’s brand of psychedelic and pagan fuzz rock.

On their first time out (which was simply entitled “Uzala”), Uzala made an eight-track lamentation that managed to even include “Gloomy Sunday,” that favorite amongst suicides. “Uzala” unearthed and exposed a very primordial brand of metal, and at its best, “Uzala” revealed that clean singing need not mean wimpy exercises in heavy metal grandiloquence.

On “Tales of Fire & Blood,” Uzala take a much stranger turn. While “Uzala” at times bordered on the operatic, “Tales of Fire & Blood” is mostly a muddy affair that is kept well rooted in the Earth’s soil. To put it more bluntly, “Tales of Fire & Blood” is recorded funeral dirt.

Still, despite the simplistic character of Uzala’s latest record, the band does manage to experiment with their sound occasionally. These efforts are successful, and “Tales of Fire & Blood” sounds the more epic for their inclusion. For instance, “Tenement of the Lost,” the record’s final track, is a twelve minute ode to drone that deftly captures the album’s obsidian flavor. While “Uzala” wrapped up its allotted time with “Gloomy Sunday” (a song that actually included lyrics), the final denouement on “Tales of Fire & Blood” is an instrumental full of white (or rather black) noise and somber chord interludes that sound like electric wind chimes from Purgatory.

Speaking of death, one cannot escape the Grim Reaper on “Tales of Fire & Blood.” During the opening, which is entitled “Seven Veils,” Nutt culls forth the shrouded and hooded fates who seem to stalk the entire record. While Nutt is busy reciting the ceremony, guitarist Chad Remains busily bends and slurs his lines, thus creating slow, drippy riffs that ooze dangerous portents. “Seven Veils” is one hell of an opener, and more importantly, it immediately lets the listener know that they should have left their happiness at the record store’s door.

“Countess,” the record’s major standout and fourth track, quite explicitly tells the tale of a brooding and malevolent noblewoman who lives upon a hill. Are we talking about Countess Elizabeth Bathory looking down from her vantage point in Castle Čachtice here? Probably, but it’s better to keep some mystery and to even believe that Uzala have their own unique queen blasphemer in mind. Either way, “Countess” is a strong rocker that anchors “Tales of Fire & Blood” down to the streamlined components of noisy doom metal.

The remaining two songs - “Dark Days” and “Burned” - are more than serviceable, and, at best, they help to further darken the world Uzala has spun on “Tales of Fire & Blood.” This is certainly a bleak full-length, and it is even more dour than its very pessimistic predecessor. Uzala are making quite the name for themselves as morose metallers, even within the doom metal underground. “Tales of Fire & Blood” is yet another example of Uzala’s growing maturation and their ever-widening pool of heavy sounds. From acid rock to washed out drone, “Tales of Fire & Blood” represents a sitting atop of its own crude apex with both thumbs turned decidedly down. 

Track List:
1.    Seven Veils
2.    Dark Days
3.    Burned
4.    Countess
5.    Tenements of the Lost

Words: Benjamin Welton

Bandcamp: Bandcamp

Jan 16, 2013

THE BIG NEW YEAR DOOM QUIZ PART THREE with Bloody Hammers, Druid Lord, Katergon, Rigor Sardonicous, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Uzala, Viaje a 800, Who Dies In Siberian Slush and Witch Mountain ...

This year we continue good tradition of big New Year doom-quiz, there’re only 5 questions for a bunch of good and famous (or not so famous yet) doom bands. What kind of questions do we have today? Mmm… Let us see!

1. As always we’re starting with general question: What is the latest news from the band and what is it current state and plans for 2013?
2. Second one is about main hit of the band: Which song does represent the band best? Which one makes you really proud of it?
3. Striking balance as always: Which doom / metal / rock releases were most significant for you in 2012?
4. This question is something new for most of our heroes: What is the best present you got at this New Year / Christmas? I was glad that I’m not alone who get socks from grandmother each year. Long live grandma! Thank you!
5. Well, this question came pretty easy because straight before the New Year came I was enduring worst hangover for 2012. So what was your worst hangover mates? After which drink / substances did you get it and what did you do to reach such amazing results and how you survive it? Preconditions for this question are disclosed in New Year Doom quiz part I.

Here they come! Bloody Hammers, Druid Lord, Katergon, Rigor Sardonicous, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Uzala, Viaje a 800, Who Dies In Siberian Slush and Witch Mountain!

Bloody Hammers (United States, occult doom rock)
Jerry Anders (vocals, bass)

1. Our album comes out in America on Feb 3rd so we're waiting on that. I'm mentally preparing to start writing more for a second album in 2013.

2. "Say Goodbye to the Sun" might be my favorite. Dynamic, melodic, heavy parts... I like that style of song. The song that represents the band I would have to say is "Fear No Evil", that one seems to be a favorite.

3. My favorite album in 2013 was a tie between "Afterglow" by Black Country Communion and "Clockwork Angels" by Rush.

4. My wife and I did reward ourselves with a Nord Electro 3.

5. Too many Jager shots after playing Bar Sinister in Los Angeles in 2005. Legendary hangover the next day.

Bloody Hammers “Say Goodbye to the Sun”

Official Website

Druid Lord (United States, death doom)
Pete Slate (guitars)

1. We've got a few things in the works. 1st, our 1st 2010 album "Hymns for the Wicked" is getting a digipack release. The 1st press is basically sold out. Doomentia in corporation with HPGD Prod is putting this out with two bonus tracks (from the Druid Death Cult ep.) We are now also writing our second full length album. We plan to put out another 7"ep on Doomentia tentatively called "Baron Blood." As this is going on we are playing a lot of gigs over the next few months here in south. It's going to be a busy year...hahaha
2. That's a really hard question. All the songs are expressions of how we feel at the time. We are proud of all our tracks. You know we play mostly Doom/Death with lyrics based around cult horror/occult so it's really hard to pick one song out. I will say for me personally I've very proud of "Chamber of Ghastly Horror." It was the very 1st song we wrote for Druid Lord. Since day one our fans have always liked that track. We play it at ever gig. The song just flows from beginning to end.
3. Hooded Menace - Effigies of Evil, Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction, Asphyx - Deathhammer, Coffins - March of Despair, Bell Witch - Longing ,Evoken – Atra Mors, Occutation - Three and Seven, Windhand - Self titled.
4. We'll I didn't get any presents this year. My Christmas tree burned down as it got too close to the fireplace. I was drinking Whiskey at the time. I did buy myself "Orne - Tree of Life on LP"..that's about it..I usually buy myself things during the year anyway. Like new guitar pedals and amp heads.
5. It was Halloween 2011. I was drinking at a local pub. I was all dressed up as some type of 18th Century Vampire. Make up and everything. It was a great costume I must add. Anyway, I was drinking Vodka all night long. Martinis too. I drank so much I don't remember getting home. I passed out on my kitchen floor. The next morning I was freezing and shocked that no one tried to get me into bed. It took me over a week to recover. Worst hangover ever!!!!!!

Druid Lord "Chamber of Ghastly Horror”


Katergon (Switzerland, atmospheric sludge / doom metal)
Oliver Ruppen (bass) and Mauro Di Cioccio (guitars)

1. Our latest news - the release of our album "Argonaut" - aren't really news anymore. But we've got plenty of positive reactions (reviews as well as personal feedbacks), which we appreciate very much. After the release we had a blast performing on a few stages and bringing our new songs to the audience. That's about what happend in the past year. Regarding 2013 we're looking forward to create new songs by trying to give our music an additional dimension. This will hopefully be an interesting time, since we'll be forced to work as a band even if some of us are living quite far away for the moment.

2. In our oppinion there isn't really a song which represents the full range of our kind of music. Take the song "Endless Life" or "Weakened Hands" on the one hand and "As We Sail the Waters of Oblivion" or "An Old Man's Reflection" on the other, put them in a jar, shake it and what comes out is to be described as the essence of KATERGON! ;-)
In fact every song has got an other element or atmosphere which brings out our musical taste/creativity and we always try to do our best. That's why there isn't such a thing as a favorite song to us.

3. Of course there have to be named the latest releases of Ufomammut, Neurosis, Anathema, Gazpacho, Meshuggah, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Crippled Black Phoenix and Gojira.  But there are many more bands and albums which belong to our alltime favorites which were released decades ago!

4.Mauro: Definitely a kitchen knive which even could slice a trunk of a mammut tree!
Oli: I've ordered an electric upright bass which I'm still waiting for. Let's see what I'll be able to get out of it after some lessons! So christmas isn't over yet for me.

5. Oli: My last real and worst hangover of all times was back in about 2004, when I still played with Creeping Vengeance together with Matt and Mauro and we did a Party. I fucked myself up with a bottle of Tullamore Dew and spent the night with my head hanging in the toilets (luckily it was my own)... Since then I cannot even stand the smell of it anymore. I'm sorry to be unable to tell you more. I forgot every single detail about that epic night - or repressed it. That's what a real hangover is all about.
Mauro: Actually my last hangover is only about two weeks old... Since I live in the country of the real traditional Absinth and because there is a bar right at the corner of my House (which sells this heavy booze for half the prize of a coke in an average pub), my flesh was weak. So I drank three and a half big glasses of it without remembering how i made the 100 meters back home. The next thing I can remember was me being more or less in the same position as Oli back in 2004. And: there is no such thing to shorten the ordeal, because drinking whatever liquid substance makes it even worse... By doing it, the Thujon (the hallucinogenic stuff in the Absinth) dissolves itself and you're drunk as hell again.

Katergon “Endless Life”

Official Website

Rigor Sardonicous (United States, death doom / funeral)
Joseph Fogarazzo (vocals, guitars)

1. Our last release was March 2012 and we have material for a new album in the works though we are not sure what will be released in 2013.

2. Season of the Dead, The Deathless Sol, and Nox Noctis Theca Dies.  We think they may harbor the most dense and bleak of our moods.

3. Our own since it almost did not get released.

4. A place to stay after a hurricane wiped my apartment out.

5. That would have to be this past easter.  It started as an innocent dinner with some wine before the pub.  A bottle and half of good red wine on my own and a beer before the night even begins.  Later a few Shocktop pumpkin brews, along with shots of something I do not know, when I realized I could not walk.  Not sure how I survived but it took a many days to recover.

Rigor Sardonicous “Nox Noctis Theca Diesl”

Official Website
Official Forum

 The Bottle Doom Lazy Band (France, doom)
Guillaume (guitars)

1. Well, so we have a new guitar player since 2 months. We’re actually recording a split LP (with the swedish band VOID MOON witch will be released on Emanes Metal Records) and working on our next album. We hope to record it this summer.

2. I like all of our songs. If somebody in the band dislike a song we don’t keep it. If i’ve to choose one ... maybe SlowStone Banner.

3. The come back of Saint Vitus ! Lillie : F-65 is not their best album, but it’s really great to listen new material of the gods of doom !!

4. A good whisky bottle !

5. Wow, I think it was when i was studying. Eating a shitty MacDo, drinking lot of bad beers and bad whisky. I was really lucky that my friend didn’t want that i died like Bon Scott in his parents house.

The Bottle Doom Lazy Band “SlowStone Banner”

Official Website

Viaje a 800 (Spain, stoner doom rock)

1. We have confirmed the last tour in Spain, after that, we quit definitely.

2. With no doubt, for me the best song and my favourite and the one I´m the most proud of is ' Los Angeles que hay en mi Piel' (The Angels in my skin).

3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill;
Astra - The Black Chord;
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Blood Lust;
Corrosión Of Conformity – self-titled;
Wovenhand - The Laughing Stalk;
Jonathan Wilson - Gentle Spirit.

4. The best gift has been a pysch oil lamp "Mathmos Space Oil Light".

5. Worst hangover ever was on 25th jan 2012, better not mention which substances I took, dangerous... the only thing I can say is I will never drug myself again, at least until I forget that bad experience...

Viaje a 800 “Los Angeles que hay en mi Piel”


Uzala (United States, doom metal)
Chad Remains (guitars, vocals)

1. UZALA will record new songs in January in Seattle with Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studio. We will also see the s/t LP be issued in the US by King of the Monsters Records with a bonus 12" single. We will tour with Ephemeros in October hitting the Fall Into Darkness (Portland) and Autumn Screams Doom (Baltimore) festivals along the way. There may be a few other releases as well.

2. This question is like being asked to pick a favorite beer. It depends on my mood and the weather at the time I suppose. I really like playing Death Masque, Burned, The Reaping, Wardrums, Cataract live... I am very happy with Batholith and Gloomy Sunday on the record since we did those very differently than I thought we might. Right now we have new songs that nobody has heard yet - they are very different from what has come before.

3. I mostly listened to Pallbearer when I wasn't listening to old Scorpions or new Darkthrone records. High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis is great and the reissue of Dopesmoker by SLEEP sounds fucking MASSIVE on vinyl. The new Myrkraverk is phenomenal - but I don't know if it's released until next year. Jef Whitehead introduced Darcy and I to the music of Ved Buens Ende. I'm amazed by the fact I'd never heard it before.

4. Darcy and I bought each other a tour van. PERFECT.

5. I don't really do hangovers since I don't really drink to excess and I don't do drugs. I prefer to enjoy a few great tasting beers and a good conversation, although I did drink a lot more than usual in Norway - coffee, espresso,vodka, and Bailey's is a deadly good drink after several good beers.

Uzala “Cataract”


Who Dies In Siberian Slush (Russia, funeral / death doom)
E.S. (guitars, vocals)

1. On 25 December 2012 Who Dies In Siberian Slush released their second album “We Have Been Dead Since Long Ago...” at Solitude prod. Stylistically the material differs from the debut album; it substantially tends to death-doom. Some people did not welcome it, especially in Russia. What can I say...? The third album we are working at will still be different from the
second one. I encourage those who have not formed their unbiased opinion to listen to the album at As far as the plans are concerned. The most possible, yet not fully confirmed, is the presentation of the new album in February-March, and participation in another MOSCOW FUNERAL LEAGUE festival in October 2013.

2. I don't think we have a song representing Who Dies In Siberian Slush ideally yet. Our various tracks could represent us at various periods of time. The first album must be characterized by “Leave Me”, “Mobius Ring” and "Zaveschanie Gumilyova", the second - by “The Day Of Marvin Heemeyer”, “The Spring”, “Of Immortality”. I am critical to my works, almost ironical. Besides, in one song the composer's idea is best developed, in another the performance is finer, in some the text is better, or the atmosphere, etc. I cannot name the song where it all could be combined. I think we have not yet composed and played our best song.

3. I must make it clear, I don't listen to music much, my taste is pretty limited and conservative, and it has been for many years. In general I prefer the 1990's death-metal, death doom, and funeral doom of all kinds. The most interesting releases for me in 2012 were Worship
“Terranean Wake” and Towards Darkness “Barren”. As well as a couple of albums released at Russian labels: Krief de Soli “Munus solitudinis” (Endless Winter) and Ennui “Mze Ukunisa” (MFL-RECORDS).

4. For me it was the beginning of studio work over a full-length album of another project I participate in, Decay Of Reality. It is a real present, sane, swift and fruitful cooperation with soul-mates. Decay Of Reality is hardcore death-metal with texts about psychiatric disorders. My task in the band is vocals. I hope that the results of our work over the DOR debut album will interest funeral/death-doom fans apart from death metal fans, as the band is stocked up with
musicians from Abstract Spirit and Otkrovenie Dozhdya.

5. I lived through my worst hangovers during the university time, when my ideas of what, how much and with whom to drink were only forming. The most treacherous booze, I presume, is hrenovuha (a completely thermonuclear drink of vodka with horseradish). It is great to drink,
great in its effect, yet afterwards terrible reek and severe hangover. I am not good at advising how to combat hangover, as I am a bench warmer now - been sober since October 2012. However, judging by the previous experience, I can say, that the best thing to beat hangover
is to drink away until you drop out again.

Who Dies In Siberian Slush “Of Immortality”

Official Website

Witch Mountain (United States, doom metal)
Uta Plotkin (vocals)

1. Witch Mountain is going to EUROPE in April for ROADBURN and subsequent touring!! One of my long-time dreams is coming true.  And it will be with Cough and Wounded Kings, two excellent bands.  We recently independently released Cauldron of the Wild on vinyl and Rob is writing our fourth album right now.  Busy, busy.

2. We have a song called "Shelter" on Cauldron of the Wild that starts off slow and bluesy, gets heavy with stoner rock weight and then takes off with a triumphant gallop into the sunset.  It is a good representation of all the styles we like best.

3. I love Blood Ceremony's Living with the Ancients.  We got to play with them this year in their hometown, Toronto, and get to know them a little.  They are grade A people and musicians, every one; that was a great show!

4. I've been wanting to read 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez for a long time.  I got it as a present and now I want to go play metal in South America!   I know there are lots of fans down there.  Now how do we do it??

5. I can think of 3 that stand out for last year.  Two were on tour with Witch Mountain but the worst was in Bali, visiting a friend.  Don't drink two bottles of wine and slam a magic mushroom shake!!  Pick one or the other!  If you insist on doing it anyway, take a friend so they can drag you out of the street and walk you home.

Witch Mountain “Shelter”


Interviews By Aleks

Nov 29, 2012

Mala Suerte/Uzala – Split 7” ...

Mala Suerte and Uzala—both practitioners of heavily mired, psychedelic doom—have joined forces to release a split 7” that highlights some of the best that both bands have to offer. Mala Suerte’s Illumninati inspired, New World Order thwarting “The Veil of Secrecy” is a heavy, hook-laden response to corruption, inequality, and clandestine abuses of power. While “The Veil of Secrecy” was recorded in 2010, not long after the release of the band’s sole full-length album, ‘The Shadow Tradition’, it is a track that really fits in well with the band’s previously released material while at the same time showing compositional growth. “Burned”, Uzala’s contribution, embraces a cleaner sound than what is found on both their self-titled album and the ‘Cataract/Death Masque’ single which ultimately places even more of a focus on Darcy Nutt’s ethereal vocals.

 “The Veil of Secrecy” has two things going for it that really elevates the track above anything that Mala Suerte has put out before it—the opening lead guitar and Gary Rosas’ vocals. The entire song is a mid-paced plod, but the opening lead guitar instantly draws the listener in with its emotive, killer tone. Immediately noticeable with Mala Suerte’s latest is that Gary Rosas’ vocals have been dialed-back a bit which really works well on this tune. “The Veil of Secrecy” sacrifices the abrasive, up-front vocal delivery found on ‘The Shadow Tradition’ in favor of a more restrained, chant-like cadence that complements the conspiratorial lyrics. Mala Suerte’s contribution is a welcome addition to the band’s catalogue and thankfully “The Veil of Secrecy” has finally been revealed.

 The relatively cleaner production of Uzala’s “Burned” really stands out and brings Darcy Nutt’s seraphic vocals to the forefront. While the production is a bit clearer, this isn’t a night and day difference. The bands still dwells in the depths of a psychedelic slurry, though the waters are a bit less murky. “Burned” still displays all of the musical elements that make Uzala so great. The interplay between the riffs and lead guitar courtesy of Chad Remains and Darcy are ever-present as is the dark, uncompromising atmosphere that seems to permeate all of the band’s recordings. For those needing a fix while they are waiting for the band to finish their next album, “Burned” just may temporarily hold them over.

 Both of the doomed-out tracks on the split are strong compositions that complement each other well and should momentarily appease fans that are looking forward to new material from either band. While Mala Suerte and Uzala approach their disciplines from different angles, each band is unified by their dedication to dark, atmospheric doom. Here’s looking forward to new material from each band in the upcoming year. Pick up the 7” from King of the Monsters Records.

Words: Steve Miller

Mala Suerte | Facebook
Mala Suerte | Bandcamp
Uzala | Facebook
Uzala | Bandcamp
King of the Monsters Records

Mar 9, 2012

Uzala - S/T ...

Boise, Idaho may not be the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of metal, particularly doom metal, but Boise’s Uzala just might change that way of thinking. The band had been hinting at great things to come for months via their Bandcamp page and expectations were high based solely on the strength of a handful of songs. The self-titled release is an engaging, powerful album that is seething with psychedelic flourishes. In short: this is my type of doom.

The big question mark for most listeners is the production. Uzala seems to have taken their cue from Electric Wizard’s “Black Masses”. The production is muffled and the instruments often blend together in hypnotic washes. Singer/guitarist Darcy Nutt’s vocals act as more of an accompaniment to the instrumentation, especially on album opener “Batholith”, partly due to her vocal style and partly due to the muffled production. Of all the female fronted doom bands, Darcy’s vocals seem the best suited for the music. While the lyrics may be indiscernible, her voice soars above the tracks and guides the listener through their particular trip.

The album opener, “Batholith”, begins with a slow, repetitive guitar passage. The listener is lulled into a false sense of melancholy calm. The bells tolls, feedback rolls, and the song kicks into overdrive—a cyclic, droning fury that would be just as at home on a Tombs release. The song isn’t all fury as Darcy’s vocals float on top of the music. The song breaks down to the initial slow guitar passage before relaunching. The intensity continues to build and build…

…until the second track, “The Reaping”, slices into the crescendo and really slows things down. The song features a heavy, sinister riff, some wah pedal abuse and wouldn’t sound out of place on Saint Vitus’ debut. Darcy’s vocals are more prominent and soulful here and are a focal point rather than blending into the music. The song never gains speed above a mid-tempo burn, but the vocals cascade over the music in the chorus—a highlight in the song.

“Ice Castle” follows suit with another slow intro, this time instigated by cymbal rolls. Heavily distorted guitars are juxtaposed with Darcy’s vocals. “Ice Castles’ is not the strongest song on the album and here, at three songs in, there is a danger of the tempo and mood to become too predictable. While “Ice Castles” is not too memorable, it sets the listener up for the midpoint of the album as the song fades out.

The aptly titled “Fracture” ambushes the listener with an upbeat, thrashy guitar intro. This fourth track sees a change in vocal duties as vocalist/guitarist Chad Remains rants like a maniacal berserker. The music is fast, unrelenting and breaks the album up nicely. At less than three minutes long the song does not overstay its welcome and succeeds in showing another side of the band. Not only can they play slow, atmospheric doom, but they can also launch angrily into the stratosphere.

Chad takes the vocal reins yet again on “Wardrums”, a doomy, groove-laden jam that’ll get your fist pumping. Here, the vocals are at their most sinister and harsh sounding. Darcy contributes some back up vocals that rise eerily out of the mix like a spectre. Truly haunting stuff. This is a song to blast when marching forth to war.

“Plague” is the comedown after Chad’s mid-album attack. Darcy returns to the mic, though sparingly in this song, and the tune plods along. This possibly would have been a better choice to lead into “Fracture” and “Wardrums”, but that is a minor quibble. It allows the listener to catch their breath.

The seventh track, “Gloomy Sunday” (also known as the Hungarian Suicide Song), is the lone cover song on the album. While Uzala are not the first to cover it, they certainly make it their own. “Gloomy Sunday” has a long, varied history and many claim that the song itself is haunted and that numerous suicides are linked to it. Regardless of the song’s history, it sounds right at home on this album. Darcy’s vocals are deeper and convey a commanding, forlorn presence which is at times reminiscent of the vocals of Sharie Neyland of The Wounded Kings.

The final track, “Cataract”, has what can only be described as an Eastern influence. Both the music and vocals have an epic, emotional quality. Midway through the doom-paced track fuzzed-out guitar cuts through the din and the song launches into a groove akin to “Wardrums”. This song really conveys the positive side to the lo-fi, muffled recording as Chad offers some devilishly whispered vocals that can go unnoticed at first listen. “Cataract” is the perfect epic closer to a fine first release.

While we are barely into 2012, this is easily the finest release of the year and it will be difficult to top. Uzala have crafted a multilayered release where listeners are rewarded with multiple listens. While the album has been crafted primarily for doom-heads there certainly is enough variety in this release to appeal to different metal fans. Some listeners may complain about the production of the album. It’s true, the production could be a bit clearer and the album could sound heavier, but those are minor complaints compared to the strengths of the songwriting and instrumentation on this album. Highly recommended and essential listening here.

Words: Steve Miller


Jan 7, 2012

A Fracture of Sorrow to Come (Interview with Uzala) ...

If you were searching for a talented young band that plays doom, search no more! Uzala with their S/T debut are already a hot topic among the doom fans. Knowing how this band likes to experiment and to evolve trust me when I am saying that this album is just a small "Fracture" of great things that are about to come! I believe Chad (guitars, raw vocals) will agree...

 Dr.Doom: Since Uzala is fairly new shall we start this interview by introducing the band and its members?

Chad: The lineup on the album is Chad Remains (myself) vocals and guitar, Darcy Nutt vocals and guitar, Nick Phit on bass, and Stephen Gere on drums. Stephen has left the band since this record and we welcome Chuck Watkins to Uzala on drums. We look forward to working together in this new year towards some killer recordings and touring. There are three more songs that we recorded with Stephen in other sessions that will be coming out later in the guise of 7" vinyl splits with some killer bands including PALLBEARER, who we are stoked to work with. One of these songs was penned by Nick, and it's quite different to any of the other UZALA material, although we feel it is wholly us in sound and vision.

Dr.Doom: I see that you (Chad Remains -guitars and “hellish vocals”-) and Darcy (Nutt -guitars and vocals-) are a married couple! Does this involve epic fights about solos and vocal melodies? And do women always get their way on a band as they do in life?

Chad: Ha ha! Our communication is very direct since we have been together for a long time, so we don't bother to beat around the bush. We just say what we want to say. The song tells us what to do anyway, so there is very little ego involved in the decision making process. Quite simply put, Darcy plays rhythm guitar and I do the leads. When the song calls for a female voice and beautiful singing it's her responsibility, and when the song requires more aggressive vocals it's up to me to make it work. We both share lyrical duties as well as writing the riffs and structures. One exception is PLAGUE which was written by Stephen on piano and then Darcy and I arranged it for guitars with him. It is funny to think that people expect us to fight though - I didn't get to be this advanced age by not learning how to choose my battles! ha ha ha! I know when she is right and she knows when I am right. We don't compromise for the sake of it since that would compromise the songs.

Dr.Doom: I see you completely neglected a CD version and an MP3 one! Your debut will be released in vinyl and tape format only right? Was this some sort of an anti-MP3 statement from the band?

Chad: We only haven't done a CD release because no label has stepped forward to release it YET. Of course I prefer vinyl for it's many intrinsic qualities and I don't view CDs as a must, but I don't have a vendetta versus the format or anything. Cassettes are just cool and I can play them in my car more easily than any format. I grew up on tapes and vinyl, so it feels natural to me. I don't remember having CDs until almost my senior year in high school and then I was fairly disappointed by people asking to hear "song 4" or whatever. There is no "song 4"!!! These artists gave the song a title! Use it for fuck's sake!
I would be glad to talk to labels about releasing this on CD, though. I know for a lot of people it is their preferred method of listening - so it doesn't bother me. MP3 release though? Like buy some MP3's? Sure! I'll get right on it! I have been told that it is terribly "old fashioned" to only have physical manifestations of the recording for sale - so we will correct this anachronism by having paid mp3s available on our website which is being finalized at this time. It should be fired up by January or February once the details are complete. We will have mp3s available as well as shirts, patches, posters, etc. for those who wish to support our endeavours.

 Dr.Doom: Darcy is responsible for the album cover art if I am not mistaken. Has Darcy done anything for other bands?

Chad: Darcy is a full time tattoo artist so most of her focus is on making huge and elaborate pieces for people's skin collections. She has done a little bit of art for bands in that she has tattooed some band members that you may know. She has created some images for gig flyers in the past as well. The last one was for a WITCHCRAFT gig.

Dr.Doom: In the copy I have, the production is a bit inconsistent. For example “Death Masque” sounds a bit louder and clearer than the rest. Was the album recorded in two different times?

Chad: That was MY mistake! Sorry about that, amigo! "Death Masque" will NOT appear on this record at all in any plans we have at the moment. We have recorded a different session of it which is a different arrangement entirely for an upcoming split 7" we are doing with a Chicago band. We may release that song on it's own. But right now we don't have plans for it. Blake Green (WOLVSERPENT) still did the production on that. But it was a slightly different kind of sound we wanted for that take.

Dr.Doom: Most of the album has a dirty, lo-fi kind of sound. I’ve always considered that kind of production a trademark for black metal bands. Do you agree? And do you see it fits well in a (mostly) doom band like Uzala?

Chad: Well we certainly didn't go into the studio with a preconceived notion to make the album sound lo-fi. I think it is more of a matter of working with the equipment available to us to make it sound as good as we could. We also did not intend to have a crystal clear and polished kind of shiny sound either. If it sounds black metal to your ears, that's fine. I don't hear this much low end frequencies usually associated with black metal. It sounds more like early Sabbath studio stuff to me - or maybe I suffer from wishful thinking with that one!

 Dr.Doom: There are two songs “Fracture” and “Wardrums” that have a quite different aesthetic from the rest of the album. Weren’t you afraid that you might lose something from album consistency and do you feel like Uzala’s sound is a work in progress?

Chad: Those songs reflect a different viewpoint of despondency and grief in that they are outwardly focussed rather than introspective sorrow. The riffs and the vocals are different because of that.
Of course our sound is a work in progress and we hope it will always be so since stagnation is the enemy of creation. So far as consistency goes I'm not sure that it is necessary other than this very recent idea that has come to be in these genres that any deviation of tone or structure is unorthodox or even heretical. If you dig through your old records you will find huge variations in sound, stucture and instrumentation especially Masters like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. We'll leave having all the songs sounding the same to those who wish to toil under such orthodoxies themselves and we wish them well with it!

Dr.Doom: Do you believe that vintage equipment and vintage production has become a necessity for the doom genre?

Chad: I believe that many will tell you so, but I don't think that obsessiveness of these details is a necessity, no. If a guitarist can make great doom riffs with a cheap catalog guitar and a digital modelling amplifier combo it is the riffs that matter. I do, however doubt the efficacy of this course of action since I haven't heard it done convincingly yet. If one desires the tone of a Les Paul through a Marshall Plexi stack, the easiest way to get there is not by pretending, but by acquiring the tools. A huge percentage of a bands' tone comes from their fingers and sweat anyway - I revealed to a friend recently that a "famous" band had all Marshall stacks for "the look" and that the actual amps used were cheap Peavey gear found used! So the road goes both ways. Experimentation is key - but don't expect for me to suddenly sound like Van Halen because I bought gear to match his. My personal obsession for the old amplifiers has a lot to do with the quality and craftsmanship with which they were built and designed. We have lost this in our modern and disposable consumerist society. So I collect the obsolescent dinosaur gear whenever I can afford it. The amplifier I use live and for this recording, however is a LANEY gh100s TI which was manufactured in the 90's - so hardly a vintage amp in truth, but capable of the tones I seek and has been trustworthy on the road.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by vintage production although I assume you mean eschewing modern conveniences such as Pro Tools and digital boards. Recording to 2" tape has always been a very expensive proposition and now that it is such a rare commodity and digital processing is ubiquitous many bands feel it is in their best interest to record in a modern equipped studio or even in their own rehearsal space on a laptop computer. I had very little to do with the methodology of our recording, but I can tell you that from what I have heard from the output of some recordists with today's technology I believe that most listeners would be hard pressed to tell you whether an album was recorded with a digital process or with an analog one. A bad engineer with a bad ear is going to make a bad sounding record no matter what he uses. We believe Blake Green (WOLVSERPENT) did a KILLER job with this one and I think you'll be hearing more bands recording with him soon.

 Dr.Doom: Jex Toth, Devil’s Blood, Blood Ceremony, Windhand, Ritual of the Oaks, The Wounded Kings, Wooden Stake all are doom (or related) bands that appeared in the last few years and all have female vocals! Do you think it’s a coincidence or maybe a bit of trend? What was the reason that you decided to adopt female vocals in the first place?

Chad: I imagine that is is because of a shift in our culture, really. It is no longer generally acceptable in the West to tell someone "you can't do this because you are a woman" or it's not "feminine" to do such and such, and so on. There are definitely genres where females may never be accepted, but I like to think that folks who listen to classic styles of doom and such to be a bit more enlightened in this area than the general populace. I may be very biased here because of meeting some really great people in these circles - so count me out if I'm wrong! I have had death metal fans tell me that "women have no place in music" and they are welcome to their (fucked up) opinion. But I'll bet they have a Jefferson Airplane record hidden in their collection at home or at least the mighty THORR'S HAMMER or BOLT THROWER!!
It was quite simple for us to decide to have Darcy sing. She has a KILLER voice and she plays mean rhythm guitar, why not have her do both? She and I formed the band anyway and we run all of the decisions by each other because we are very respectful of each other's opinions and abilities. It would be a shame if my ego was so fragile that I was afraid to have Darcy sing for whatever imagined reasons on unreasons. Each song takes its own identity and calls for the correct voice. THE REAPING would not be what it is if I were to do vocals on that one, for instance.

Dr.Doom: I am sure that most fans will be wondering already for future releases of the band! Any plans for EP’s, splits etc?

Chad: We have three songs already recorded for upcoming split 7" releases with such killers as MALA SUERTE, PALLBEARER, and BONGRIPPER. The labels have not received these yet but I hope that most of the three will see a Spring release in 2012. UZALA is also planning a 10" EP with two songs that are being written now which will be the debut of our new drummer, Chuck Watkins. We plan to record that one this Spring in Seattle and I have been in talks with Tad Doyle (Boise/Seattle legends TAD) about engineering that piece for us. Nothing is final on that yet. It will see press by KING OF THE MONSTERS when it is finished, though. Darcy and I are writing new songs constantly, so we should have enough for another studio album by Fall.

 Dr.Doom: So are there any plans for touring in U.S. and possibly Europe?

Chad: For now we are planning a Western States US tour in May/June - get in touch if you can help out with gigs and such. We are looking at Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tuscon, Las Cruces, San Antonio, Austin, Norman, Denver and Salt Lake City. I may have missed something in the list. My apologies. Currently we have no plans to tour Europe, although it is not out of the question for us and we do desire to play the UK as well as Scandinavia and mainland Europe especially given the fucking fantastic festivals there like ROADBURN.

Dr.Doom: O.K. this it from me! The epilogue is yours!

Chad: Expect more fuzz, more despair and more thunder from us. Nick Phit (bass) has become an integral part of UZALA since he joined us last year and we look forward to collaborating with him to a greater degree in future recordings. Our creative fires are lit and we have plenty of fuel to burn. New ideas are fomenting and fermenting and more realizations and revelations are forthcoming. Thank you to all who have supported us. Thank you for reading.

Interview By Dr Doom Metal ( Dr.Dooms Lair )

Uzala @ Facebook
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...