Now this is quite the find. Mixing elements of Burzum, Emperor, Wolves in the Throne Room and Lycus, Ultha mix old and new black metal with some crushing doom influences to produce 63 minutes of bleak melancholy and dark allure.
The music on Converging Sins worships multiple eras of black metal and it all comes together under the band’s watchful eyes in an individualistic and impressive way.
Ultha build their music with atmosphere and texture, transitioning from mysterious reflective parts to blistering blackened fury with ease and confidence.
Some of the blackened riffs on this release are downright hummable, while others just get down to their work of sanding skin down raw. The band’s subtle melodic streak is apparent in the distorted blackness, while some low-key synths occasionally add another layer of texture to their music.
As you would usually expect from a band with songs as long as the ones on Converging Sins, this is heavy on the atmosphere and delves into post-black metal territories here and there. The depth, nuance and emotive nature of the music on this album shouldn’t be underestimated. This is a superlative piece of work, one that the band should be rightfully proud of.
Some of the riffs are insanely good too. In fact, there are so many highlights on this album it’s just silly. It’s easy to get absorbed in the dark soundscapes that the band produce seemingly so easily and there are a huge number of hair-standing-on-end moments throughout.
Vocally we get screams, (howling, roared, etc.), and dark growled shouts, alongside occasional other styles, including a guest female vocalist on Mirrors in a Black Room, (which is one of the mellower, reflective tracks on here), and some clean male vocals on the heavily emotive You Will Learn About Loss.
The final track Fear Lights the Path (Close to Our Hearts) is perhaps the best song on here, although all of them are so strong and have their own individual charms that it’s genuinely hard to call it. Regardless, it’s a great way to end the album and leaves marks so you know that you’ve listened to a piece of music you won’t easily forget.
Ultha have produced something extremely special here. The black metal gods are pleased, and so am I.
Essential for any fans of the style.