Beautiful first album by Ultar, filled with fury and some kind of serenity. I'm really impressed by the singer. In fact I'm impressed by the whole thing. One of the best albums of 2016 for me!
Favorite track: Kadath.
Ultar is a new name for the band, who previously were known as Deafknife. They make their home in the town of Krasnoyarsk, nestled among howling Siberian woods and red mountains. Their album is described in concept as “a journey of a young man to the Kadath -– Lovecraftian divine City of Gods, hidden in the Land of Dreams”, but also as the great lifelong journey that we each make in “search of ourselves and our inner freedom that will light the way”.
“Azathoth” is cast in shades of light and dark, soft and loud. It moves from moments that are ethereal and evanescent to passages of surging intensity and power. In part it’s spellbinding and mystical, and in part it’s hard-driving and physically compulsive — both moodily atmospheric and intensely ravaging. The song also includes varied (and impassioned) vocals — most of which are savagely inflamed.
The beautifully filmed video is a match for the music, capturing both the unearthly mystery in the song as well as its driving physicality.
In genre terms, the band could be thought of as sonic alchemists who blend ingredients from black metal, post-metal, and shoegaze, with a talent for creating dramatic melodies that have emotional intensity as well as staying power. Five more tracks accompany “Azathoth” on Kadath — three more long ones and two shorter instrumental pieces.
The album is out in a deluxe 6pp digipack with the audio mastered by Mell Detmmer (Sunn 0))), Earth, Fyrnask, etc).