After enjoying 2021’s Life of a Purist, I wasn’t expecting to see a new Udånde album so soon, but I’m not complaining. Providing us with 39 minutes of melancholic black metal, 2022’s Udånde offers a harrowing journey into nightmare and desolation.
Although in some ways this new release is not a drastic departure in sound when compared to Life of a Purist, Slow Death – A Celebration of Self-Hatred nonetheless feels like a very different record. It is deeply personal and visceral, and tells tales of depression and suffering. It is bleak and brimming with dark emotion in ways that many albums never attempt. Additionally, although there is still a session drummer present, this time there is no session singer, with the artist himself handling the vocal duties, (which he does very capably with a deep growled approach).
This is music filled with darkness and despair, with a textured atmosphere that’s rich with characterful presence. It is a modern black metal style that features enough melody to hold the listener fast with potent effect, but is still dark enough to deliver contemporary brutality alongside the emotive aspects. Shaping the songs are blackened rhythms that are infectious and it’s clear that the artist is skilled at crafting malevolent distortion that carries emotional weight. Around this sit occasional snippets of introspective lightness that reek of sadness and loss.
Slow Death – A Celebration of Self-Hatred is a powerful album that’s very enjoyable and satisfying in its cathartic darkness.
Very highly recommended.