Underdark – I Am Above All

underdark_090407_iamaboveBlood and conviction continues to flow out of the heart of the Ukrainian black metal scene and Underdark, a 2 man project featuring Amorth Incubus Magnum (ex-Drudkh, Astrofaes and Thunderkraft), is the latest musical entity from this Eastern land to reaffirm that this country is brimming with the most exciting BM sounds currently being created. Mystery, aggression and variety emits from the core of “I am Above All” with its very sharp, almost “Wolf’s Lair Abyss” reminiscent guitar tone sawing through the entrancing moods that keep this album moving along with interest and creative depth. Riff work soars between standard tremolo harmonies, before eroding off into unexpected turns, whether it is a disjointed crunch part, or bizarre chords that decay into melodious note fills. Underdark keep their verse riffs more stripped down and distinct, allowing Amorth’s dry, yet scathing vocals to find their own unique vocal lines, rather than simply following the exact changes in the riffs. The music breaks and the instrumental “Depth of Idea” is where the band embellish their guitar parts with more awkward changes and atypical movement, but Amorth’s drum work remains the constant rock beneath these compositions as he takes liberty to ensure that the tempo is always varied and interesting. Towards the end of “I Am All”, Underdark even inject a hint of folklore with what sounds like traditional folk harmonies, “blackmetalized” so to speak, before capitalizing on this minor influence by covering Kari Rueslatten’s song, “Hor min Sang” to end this album on a very interesting note. “I Am Above All” is pure and uncompromising black metal, ripe with the underground aesthetic, but Underdark work to distance themselves from the pack by nurturing their own musical identity, rather than rip off Darkthrone. By achieving this, they have created a solid album worth of material that keeps me interested throughout all 8 tracks. Definitely looking forward to this projects future endeavors. -Marty


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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