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Review: Umbra Nihil - Gnoia
Umbra Nihil

Label: Firebox Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 60:07
Tracks: 7
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: September 24, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating

Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

From the depths of the Finnish underground, crawl Umbra Nihil. Kicking off with a very movie sound score styled opening, the band progress into the realms of Skepticism & My Shameful - meaning monolithic soundscapes of pure, unadulterated funeral doom.

You may remember Umbra Nihil from their split album with the ultra weird Aarni, but this is the band's first full length and it's pretty damned good at that. The music is so varied here, even when compared to the vast amount of ultra obscure doomsters that seem to be creeping out of the Finnish underground nowadays, nodding greatly in the direction of psychedelia and bands such as Neurosis, Swans, Cathedral, early Paradise Lost and even Voivod throughout the album's lengthy runtime.

Thankfully, the band do not score and own goal as some do, by trying to employ and incorporate such a plethora of varied musical styles into their own unique artwork, and pull it off with flying colours (most of which go beyond that detectable by human vision, I might add!), and most importantly, staying very much METAL. Yep, ethereal and otherworldly is the feast on offer here, and a hell of a ride it is too.

Each melody is contrasted with moments of pure filth; every beat is matched with a moment of contemplative silence. Complete balance and incredible music, which you have almost no choice but to be entirely overwhelmed and immersed in, like a huge raging ocean of sonic range and mind-bending scope.

No album is perfect in my opinion, but this comes pretty damn close.

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