Album Review: Cult Of A Dying Sun
Written by Eric Arnst on May 8, 2020
Title: Cult Of a Dying Sun
Record Label: Eisenwald
Release date: May 28, 2018
I will be reviewing the Eisenwald Records’ 2018 release of the sophomore album by UADA (pronounced “Uu-ah-da”), entitled Cult of a Dying Sun. First, I need to give some background information about the band. UADA is a melodic black metal band. They formed in 2014 and hail from Portland, Oregon. The band was formed by guitarist/vocalists Jake Superchi. The band is similar to the Polish black metal band Mgla (pronounced “mgwah”). UADA means “haunted” in Latin.
I have to admit, I did not become a fan of this band until late 2018 when a friend of mine recommended them to me. I also had slight curiosity from seeing people at metal shows wearing their merch, and this album was the first material I heard from them, and I instantly became a fan. I also heard their debut from 2016 titled Devoid of Light, which I now own along with COADS. The album’s duration is about 56 minutes long and contains seven tracks.
The album begins with the song “The Purging Fire”. The song is one of the shorter songs on this album but clocks in at about six minutes long. This song starts the album strong. The harmonizing guitars are heard within the first minute of the song, and then, atonal picking, creating an atmosphere.
The song also is slightly different to what the rest of the album is like due to the song structure, and the ferocity the song holds. Jake Superchi’s vocals add to the atmosphere of the album. This album is no way an atmospheric black metal band, but it still has an atmosphere to it. It creates a sensation of being a cold and misty forest, but it is more of an autumn feel.
After the first track, the rest of the album (with the exception of two tracks) have the same ideas to them. The next track, “Snakes & Vultures”, has a very cool lick or riff about twp minutes into the track, but you can hear the band is more focused on the atmosphere aspect. Compared to their debut, this track has only a few cool riffs whereas their debut had fantastic riffing to them.
The titled track of the album is considered the best song on the album. The song has a bunch of tremolo picking that adds to the atmosphere of the album. The drumming by Brent Boutte is displayed here with the change in tempo and rhythmic patterns, complimenting the guitar work.
One of my complaints is the lack of bass guitar due to the production of the album. It is too quiet for my liking. Black metal is known to have less bass to their sound, but for a band like UADA, and the clean production values they have, it is just lackluster.
“The Wanderer” is the only instrumental track on the album. Unlike the rest of the album, it features more acoustic work, but it is balanced. It is not too prominent that it deviates from the rest of the album’s sound entirely, but enough to give it it’s own unique flavor.
“Mirrors” is my favorite song on the album. It has a great blend of droning, atmospheric rhythmic guitars. There is harmonizing and melodic leads that switch back and forth between Superchi and James Sloan. The song, along with the title track, is the pinnacle of the band’s sound on this album.
While I love this album, there are still flaws with it. I mentioned above the lack of bass on the album can distract you from the experience in some sections of the album. Another problem I have with the album is the lack of riffing on it. It is not like their debut where there were a lot of fantastic riffs in it, the closest you get is on the opening track.
That song in particular retains the sound they captured on their debut. The final nitpicking I have for this album is that some of the ideas seem to drag on longer than necessary, especially on the titled track.
Despite the few flaws with this album, it still has great songwriting, and a haunting atmosphere to it. I think in that aspect, I like this album more than their debut. Overall, this was an amazing experience, and I recommend it to any metal fan, especially those who want to get into black metal.
Click here to listen to the album.