Crepuscule Natura by UadaRelease date: September 8, 2023
Anonymous members dressed all in black, false accusations of far-right sympathies, an allergy to low frequencies… Yup, Portland’s Uada have all the hallmarks of a modern day black metal band. However, album number four, Crepuscule Natura, is not your typical blast of feral screeches into the uncaring night. Branching out beyond the usual constraints of the genre, here we have a band hungry to explore what they can do beyond the basics.
Often obliterated in the sea of noise, the genre’s roots lie firmly within punk, and Uada do a fine job of unearthing these to show them off in a favourable (if pallid) light. The gaps this opens up allows them to introduce more melody to proceedings than many of their contemporaries are willing to allow; these catchy hooks even veer into a jaunty territory at times. One might not quite say pop-punk-esque, but…
Whilst this is not a new weapon in Uada’s arsenal, it does feel far more natural here on Crepuscule Natura. And that is largely because of the impressive leap in the quality of the recording that is immediately noticeable. Punchier in tone and filling a broader spectrum, the music demands your undivided attention this time around. Take ‘The Dark (Winter)’ for example, as it comes roaring out with a bombastic gallop rarely seen in these parts, triumphant hooks lodging in every brain within earshot.
It is this seamless melding between the dark shadows of black metal with elements more commonly associated with other genres that makes Crepuscule Natura a fascinating listen. The continued development, improvement too, over the course of the last seven years means that Uada have continued to inject a spark of life – even joy – into a field that so often is too intransigent.