The Pitch: French post-metal, sludge project Umbra takes us on an intergalactic journey. FFO: Telepathy, Alaskan, They Grieve, The Moth Gatherer
What I Like: I tend to use a lot of marine metaphors when it comes to post-metal and sludge: waves, stormy seas, etc. But Umbra is different. While they employ the same weighty-sounding chords and seafarer howls, their aesthetic really does fit the space theme of the album's title and artwork. Much of this concept is carried by the 80's-influenced synth parts you'll find throughout the album. The approach is not unlike that found on the last The Moth Gatherer album, but Aries gives it a little something extra in the 2001: A Space Odessey emphasis. There is more, however, than just the keys portraying these ideas. The somewhat psychodelic tapping guitar leads expand the imagery of this intergalactic journey, as do the choices in simple, subtle progressions that happen along the way. On top of all of this, I think the drumming on this album is exquisite. Lots of texture happening there.
What I Don't Like: I'm trying to think of what I would add to this album to move it from excellent to legendary, and I'm honestly having a tough time. Aries is already very impressive as it stands, but it isn't likely to be an album people will be talking baout years from now. Perhaps the only thing missing is your support of the band along with the continued creativity that comes with future releases.
The Verdict: A fantastic voyage that manages to keep me on the edge of my captain's seat even through the longer compositions. Support this band and throw them a few dollars while you spread the word. Aries is available below at the price of your choosing.
Flight's Fav's: Cetus, Libra