Exclusive Track-by-Track: UADA – ‘Crepuscule Natura’

U.S. melodic black metal kings UADA return on September 8 with Crepuscule Natura, the fourth record for Eisenwald and first new LP in three years. We’ll have have more huge news on this release tomorrow, but today we are honored to present an exclusive track-by-track breakdown of one of the most anticipated albums of 2023.

“The Abyss Gazing Back”

Want a good example on how to kick off a record properly? How about a cool Nietzschean reference in the title to tickle the brain before the ears themselves, an intro that lasts less than ten seconds, and a death grunt/roar that sets off a massively catchy riff? Less than half a minute has gone by on Crepuscule Natura and, let’s face it, we’re already hooked. For the remaining seven minutes, this opening track unfolds almost like a compilation of everything good UADA have to offer, with infectious melodies happily coexisting, and never detracting from, a pleasing sense of viciousness in the much-improved vocals. Feels like a future live favorite already. Also, have they ever been more Maiden-esque than on that bit that starts around the four-minute mark?

“Crepuscule Natura”

A suitably ominous pre-riff of sorts sounds just off the left channel for a few seconds, and just when you’re going to check your phones, the whole thing comes crashing down and is gloriously repeated all around you. UADA are getting particularly good at this intro stuff. This title-track really drives home how they’ve finally nailed the perfect production job—though 2020’s Djinn was already a particularly important step forward towards that goal, this is where the warm, clear yet subtly grainy-where-it-should-be kind of dynamic and smart use of sound really brings forward the full potential of the songs. Oh, and second best Maiden-esque moment of the album so far, the way that solo shoots off into space around the 5:12-mark.

“The Dark (Winter)”

See, the grain in that opening guitar, that’s what we’re talking about when we mentioned the dynamics of production up there. Awesome fist-raising cavalcades on this one right before the vocals kick in at a minute and a half, any Dissection fan will be left with puddles of drool to clean up. In fact, the Dissection + Maiden general blueprint of the album is even more noticeable here. Once again, great work on the vocals, perhaps less adventurous than in the past, but exceptionally strong and expressive, and a constant counterpoint to the melodiousness of the clean guitar work, like those desperate howls 5:30 in, which help give the accompanying guitar leads a strangely mesmerizing effect.

“Retraversing the Void”

That spacey sound that opens the song reminds you that UADA have been making you feel like you’re plunging into an untold depth of cosmos for almost half an hour now, without any kind of gimmick or silly subterfuge. Just plain, old good songwriting, conviction, and fucking hummable tunes. This track goes a little deeper on the melancholy vibe, while at the same time featuring some of the most furious death metal-like vocal work—contrast, dynamics and balance. The three magic words that explain why we’re near the end of the record and haven’t felt a second of boredom yet.

“Through The Wax and Through the Wane”

Could have done without the opening cartoony howl, but fortunately this quickly develops into a remarkable conclusion to a very promising album that we’re already itching to listen to again. It’s not unusual for the closing track to be the longest one on a UADA record (in fact, so far, it’s a rule without exceptions), but this is the one that feels the most like an actual epilogue, a departure and perhaps a glimpse into the future. The way they beat on that same hypnotic riff for minutes on end during the middle sections of the song, and how the repetition spell is shattered as it picks up for four super-intense minutes when it looked like it was already fading away… it’s a real emotional rollercoaster and gives a proper feeling of closure to the proceedings. Now, a little breather, and maybe a press of that Play button again…