Uada
Djinn


3.0
good

Review

by Evok USER (42 Reviews)
October 1st, 2020 | 31 replies


Release Date: 09/25/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: you'ada listen to their old stuff.

Chances are you've already heard everything Djinn has to offer a hundred times over by now. This is good news if you're diehard a melodic black metal aficionado who chomps at the bit for the likes of Wode or Mgla, but if you approach Uada's third incarnation expecting the unexpected, then you best expect elsewhere. Yes, the riffs are gorgeous, and yes, the songwriting is as smooth as Bruce Willis’ head, but if you're deadset on jamming out to Uada, you'ada to listen their old stuff instead. Both Cult of a Dying Sun and Devoid of Light saw this pacific-northwest quartet do it rougher, angrier and grittier than what we get with their latest instalment of a shadowy figure floating in a strange place, and much of the tooth that made their bite so sharp in the past has been filed into a patrician grin here. It's all rather troublesome from a listener's standpoint, largely due to the fact that the album, on paper, is a brilliant display of contemporary melo-death-isms and ironclad melo-black making sweet, sweet love to one another, with tight musicianship, dynamic pacing, and easy-going grandiose taking the fore without relent. Much like the aforementioned namedrop's Servants of the Countercosmos and Age of Excuse, its a recipe for a 9th-inning homerun, but the harsh reality of the experience is ultimately about as flavourful as the night-old White Claw on your countertop. Yeah, it's even worse at room temperature, and to degrade the experience further, the production borders on unpleasantly sibilant. Flat-chested, compressed, and every other offhand buzzword that spits in the face of burly-man's metal underscores the timbre of Djinn at high volume, so much so that whatever saving grace their sexy-ass riffs had is whisked away like a chihuahua in a hurricane. At least their last albums had reference-volume listenability working in their favour, not to mention some wonderfully charming sing-along one-liners like "snakes and vultures" to posit earworms that beckon a good revisit. Unfortunately Djinn doesn't boast the same pedestrian charm that proper Urban Outfitter jean jacket rockers guzzle like craft lager, instead opting to scribble "charted" right out of the Oxford dictionary and pen their own name in its place. Remember Dissection? At least their pioneering vision of melodious boogaloo came with a real-life murder plot. Since then, Uada has proven that a good salute shouldn't come without three variations on the same album cover and a soft-shelled millennial controversy to complement their own but-wait-there’s-more brand of melodious boogaloo. Imagine a band making a public statement about an equatorial venue being too hot to permit a performance in one's beloved leather jacket, as if the ability to shred a 6-string was entirely dependant on shouldering some tanned cowhide. Now imagine that very same band decided to follow-up with the release of an album that eschews any excuse for such pretentious posturing on the performative viability of tropical weather patterns, unsurprisingly, by releasing a full hour of anything-but-innovative music. For the lack of better words, welcome to 2020: the year of unrequited expectations and synchronous disappointments.

Fortunately, Djinn's capsized voyage isn't quite as bad it's been pegged here. This is no spilled-oats-in-a-chicken coop situation, despite the thrashing it well deserves, and instead finds salvation in the fact these guys are masters of their craft. Quite so, there's no doubt that Uada has been busy making some the most palatable melodic black metal on the scene since Devoid Of Light came out four years ago, and three albums in, they've honed their skills to a bleeding edge. Tracks like the long-drawn "No Place Here" and "Between Two Worlds" prove the point with enchanting passages that part the cheeks of rapturous riffing and spellbinding crescendo alike, conjuring an occultist's confidence in their songwriting chops. Meanwhile, the (slightly) more concise ferocity of tunes like "In The Absence Of Matter" and "Forestless" highlight the notion that these Oregonians are simply too skilled to be held back by unsalted production values and tepid creative vision. Rather, in refining the ideas of their jingle-oriented forefathers and forging them like cubic zirconias, Uada have managed to take melodic extreme metal to a veritable apex where its hard to imagine these particular chord combinations being executed in any more a captivating manner. Troublesome be it as it may, that captivating nature of Djinn is both a sullen letdown and a rousing triumph depending on what angle it's viewed from. In one breath, it's undoubtedly derivative, but on the next, its the kind of derivative that makes you question if such a thing even matters so long as the passion burns hot. Fans of the band should (in theory) love it, and folks who've enjoyed them from a comfortable distance should at least find enough heat here to make it worth cataloguing. Sure, the hops on tap might not be as tart this time around, but they’re still batch-brewed by serious swamis of the scene, and whatever that's worth, on the whole Djinn serves itself as a rather fun albeit unessential ride through the flaming horizons and pearlescent nightscapes of melodic black metal.



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user ratings (45)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Evok
October 1st 2020


8233 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hot take, so roast away. While you're at it, go grab Djinn on their Bandcamp here:



https://uada.bandcamp.com/album/djinn

Digging: The Who - Live In Hyde Park

Get Low
October 1st 2020


8345 Comments


Hype to check this new Utada album

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


21901 Comments


Glad you reviewed this Evok! I loved "Cult..." so I had high hopes for this, let's see, let's see...

Digging: Crippled Black Phoenix - Ellengaest

Evok
October 1st 2020


8233 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers Dewi! I was really keen on their last outing as well, and still am. I think a lot of people will like this album at least as much as their previous works, it just didn't do me like Cult did me, ya know?

MiloRuggles
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


855 Comments


Stunning fucking review evok, lovin your work right now

parksungjoon
October 1st 2020


22191 Comments


ya sick revu

Digging: Have Mercy (MD) - Armageddon Descends

0xME
October 1st 2020


607 Comments


Great review agreed, but the real star here is the summary

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


12931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That summary, omg. Gonna read the rest in a sec, rating seems to be on point from my first spin through.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


12931 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

--but the harsh reality of the experience is ultimately about as flavourful as the night-old White Claw on your countertop--



What is this reference? Not a shot at the review, it's just a 'something going straight over my head' kinda thing. Google says it's a bev of some sort (loose def) but is this Australia's take on Forsters beer for example?



That first paragraph could do with a little breaking up - but fuck I'm loving this review bar the point I've made above. Pos'd

Evok
October 1st 2020


8233 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thx Nocte. I'm definitely guilty of getting a little wordy with my reviews sometimes. Still, just glad to be back at it after taking over a year off. White Claws are a boozy seltzer beverage and they absolutely suck ass.



And yeah Foster's is awful. They sell it up here in Canada too, and it's still cheaper than most domestic horse piss. You know its bad when flying it halfway around the planet isn't enough to make it worth charging median coin.

Pikazilla
October 1st 2020


12790 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, this album is... trash. Their worst yet.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2020


26081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

listening to Cult of a Dying Sun right now and it's excellent

bloc
October 1st 2020


63567 Comments


Just looked at their 3 albums and the arts look like 3 different bosses you have to face in different parts of the map

Digging: Phoxjaw - Royal Swan

SymbolicInTime
October 1st 2020


6652 Comments


Cult of a Dying Sun was just insanely quality. Kind of nuts that they apparently fell off so hard. Gonna have to peep this eventually

WatchItExplode
October 1st 2020


8314 Comments


Enjoyable enough well-trod sound

WatchItExplode
October 1st 2020


8314 Comments


Enjoyable enough well-trod sound

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2020


26081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

didn't really notice much of a quality dip with this album personally. yeah it's accessible and not as challenging but w/e it's really nice

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2020


15111 Comments


Nice feature Evok ;) I read it tomorrow
I just heard the opener, and to be honest, it sounded a bit average.


Digging: Wake - Confluence

porcupinetheater
October 1st 2020


3968 Comments


"Now imagine that very same band decided to follow-up with the release of an album that eschews any excuse for such pretentious posturing on the performative viability of tropical weather patterns"

Lol pos

bigguytoo9
October 2nd 2020


848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This album is not very good at all, a very low 3 is all I could give it.



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