Djinn is the third, full-length release from American black metal band Uada, released September 25 via Eisenwald. Djinn sees Uada pushing their quality musicianship to new heights with an even greater emphasis on melody and their ability to float freely in the black metal genre label, much like a Djinn themselves.
As mentioned before, Uada’s focus on melody and soaring guitar lines is at the forefront on this album; rarely, if ever, does the band lean on black metal’s roots of discordance and abrasion; instead, Uada fill the soundscape with rich harmonies and glossy guitar lines. The shredding solo that morphs into the joyous string layers on “The Great Mirage” is some of the most resolute guitar work I’ve heard in a long time.
The band also flaunts their flexile nature on this release. Rarely do songs devolve into just blast beats and tremolo picking; elements of post-punk and thrash metal permeate this album. The brief, hardcore-flavored sections on “No Place Here” are a welcome vibe change and don’t overstay their welcome.
Particular note needs to be given to Jake Superchi’s vocal work, who is able to move from the typical black metal wretch to an almost sonorous sort of chant on “In The Absence of Matter,” which is almost reminiscent of some of Anaal Nathrakh’s vocal work. The otherworldly nature of these vocals almost feels like Superchi channeling what a Djinn may sound like if made corporeal.
In an almost Faustian Bargain, however, Uada’s extreme focus on devil horn-worthy harmonies can over-saturate you at times. The lack of tension or any form of build-up on most tracks eventually causes the anthemic guitar work to lose some of its luster, though it never becomes grating or dull by any stretch. “Between Two Worlds” certainly has some nastier sections and proves the band are more than capable of bringing the heavy when it’s needed; it’s just a shame these borderline-death metal sections don’t crop up on the album more.
Overall, Uada have created a blueprint for the melodic black metal sound alongside a smattering of unexpected turns to keep the palate fresh; look no further than “Forestless” for the extent of the band’s musical exploration. Though at times I was left pining for some filthy riffs, that isn’t what Uada are about; Uada are about what they have made on Djinn, and it’s very good indeed.
Djinn, first inhabiters of this world, the smokeless fire, and those we call upon our enemies, have gifted us a 60-minute descent into the modern-day possessions of our existence and demise. A duality that can only be known as our third wish.
Djinn was released September 25 via Eisenwald and is available to order here.