Label: Eisenwald Tonschmiede
There was a considerable amount of hype around the debut from Uada, Devoid of Light, when it was released in 2016. It’s easy to hear why. Its mix of Mgla-esque melodies and grim atmospherics could hardly fit in better with the modern black metal zeitgeist if it tried. That’s not to be dismissive of the album, though. For all that Devoid of Light recalls other bands, it’s still a fine album, with more than enough quality to keep listeners interested, even if (like me) you’ve listened to With Hearts Toward None what feels like a few hundred times.
Whilst the mournful, melodic nature of the leads which dominate Devoid of Light make a Mgla comparison unavoidable, it would be unfair to dismiss Uada as unoriginal. They combine that modern Polish sound with overtly rocking moments, that hold their own against bands like Darkthrone and Sargeist; whilst album closer ‘Black Autumn, White Spring’ features an excellent guitar solo. These moments demonstrate that Uada are no mere copyists, and if they could capture a bit more of the spirit and character hinted at in such moments, their next album could be something truly special. In the meantime though, Devoid of Light is a fine listen, and holds plenty of promise for the future.