In a world where everything is changing so fast, it’s nice to know that some things haven’t changed. You likely know of Uada and how they’ve quickly risen to the top of the USBM scene. I’ve been a solid fan of everything this band has released since the very beginning and I particularly loved 2020’s Djinn, both in terms of the music and the message. Djinn was a near perfect record that showcased the band’s growth and talent. Uada seems to have perfected the formula to mix together the aura of the cold, the distant, the occult and lots of melody. With that, Crepscule Natura is another stellar Uada release and, perhaps, it even tops Djinn.
Crepscule Natura is an LP that features five songs. While some might want a couple more tracks, the reality is that this LP is tight as hell. There’s no fluff, no filler, nothing extraneous. Even with one 12+ minute song, the record doesn’t meander or go off into some type of tangential direction. Rather, this might be the band’s most-focused effort to date. It’s muscular and slightly more refined. Don’t take that, however, as meaning the band has embraced traditional song structure or has ebbed from what most of us have grown to love. It hasn’t. It’s still the same band. In fact, much about the record is really is familiar. The major difference that I gathered in my listens is a slightly dirtier, more raw vocal. This is most apparent in the album’s opener, “The Abyss Gazing Back.”
What really gets me on this record are the “harmonies.” I use the term harmonies in quotes because while the two guitars play essentially the same leads at the same time, they are ever-so-slightly not in tune with each other. You can there is a great deal in the title track as well as the opener. What adds to the effect is the masterful mixing by main man Jake Superchi, who ensures that you can really discern the differences in both guitars.
Also in typical Uada fashion, the band isn’t shy about the topics they tackle in their lyrics. With a nod to the band’s relationship with nature and the stars, “Crepuscule Natura” is just what you’d expect with the song’s repetitive and familiar refrain of “Twilight Nature.” As is the track, “Retraversing the Void.” Closer to our not-as-natural world, “The Dark (Winter)” takes more a political tone and forces us to think about those in power who claim to do things in our best interests.
The album’s closer, “Through the Wax and Through the Wane,” is going to remind fans of Uada‘s earlier years, but with some very solid updates in the progressions and the sonics. And there’s a middle section of the track that’s going to absolutely take your breath as Uada takes you on planetary ride that only they can do.
Not just of one of the very best black USBM records of the year, this is one of the very best black metal records of the year.