In Umbriel Nocte Obdcuta maximizes their inclination to the conflation of genres, thus giving rise to a wide-ranging avantgard black metal. Umbriel is from this point of view a real masterpiece: it combines black metal with psychedelic music, new age, ambient, and much more; in this way Nocte Obducta brings metal one step further.
Umbriel is however not easy to listen to especially on a first listen; I think that one can fully appreciate the beauty and complexity of Umbriel only after several listens, at least to overcome the initial impact. The album is really unusual and ears accustomed to listen to metal might need some time to get used to its experimental sound.
First we must say that the vocals have been taken care of both by Flanges, who previously was responsible for the keyboards, and by Torsten, also singer of Agrypnie. The level of the musicians is very high, and this can be seen in the production, which is exaggeratedly perfect, and in the outstanding skill in mixing the various instruments.
The album consists of ten songs, some of which are very long, for a total duration of one hour and eight minutes; it is never repetitive and is rich in atmospheres. The first song “Kerkerwelten - Teil I” begins with dissonant piano notes, and then continues with dreamy clean guitar chords, a glacial riff, and a duet of screaming and clean vocals. “Dinner auf Uranos” contains psychedelic and ambient atmospheres. “Mehr Hass” is very heavy, while “Leere” is sadder. The last song “Kerkerwelten - Teil II” ends with a long doomish, very sad and melancholic melody.
The lyrics are as usual in German; they are very introspective and describe a sense of emptiness in which there are no certainties: black is perhaps a colour, freedom is a tramp who dies. This sense of loss is well expressed at the beginning of the last song “Kerkerwelten - Teil II”: “Angst ist ein neuer Gefährte / Und Zweifel befällt to Werte” (‘Fear is a new companion / And doubt affects all values’).
Umbriel is a really beautiful and original album, but it may not appeal to purists.
Umbriel (Das Schweigen zwischen den Sternen), ‘Umbriel (The Silence between the Stars) was released on March 8, 2013 through MOD.
1. “Kerkerwelten - Teil I” 03:46
2. “Gottverreckte Finsternis” 04:39
3. “01-86 Umbriel” 05:29
4. “Dinner auf Uranos” 13:53
5. “Mehr Hass” 06:38
6. “Leere” 14:17
7. “Ein Nachmittag mit Edgar” 08:24
8. “Reprise Dinner auf Uranos” 04:23
9. “Reprise Dinner auf Uranos” 04:23
10. “Kerkerwelten - Teil II” 07:08
Heidig - bass
Marcel - guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards
Matze - drums, theremin
Stefan - guitars, vocals
Flange - vocals
Torsten - vocals