ALMOST a really good album. I think as a whole, this sounds like Agalloch if they didn’t suck ass, and without all of the trendy bullshit. I appreciate the hell out of the flutes and other south american folk influences that went into this, as well as the relative lack of cheesy post-rock influences (note: not absence of). I don’t feel like it takes too long to get started, but I do feel like it actually runs out of ideas after the second track (or the first track after the intro rather). The other tracks just sound like inferior rehashes of the first idea, and although I love the idea itself I can’t help but think it doesn’t hold up for 54 minutes. More traditional records get away with less creative musical endeavors and more repetition because they have more recognizable song structure to speak of, and just plainly speaking the ideas involved in making traditional black metal/traditional atmo black work by themselves. The joy is finding the subtitles that make each band unique. When you go out of your way to be unique there’s always the chance of fucking up because you have less of a baseline to fall back on, and Umbras really suffers from this. It’s a great attempt at a very unique idea for a record, but unfortunately full lengths typically aren’t only 20 minutes long, and they really couldn’t figure out what to do with the rest of that time.
EXTRA: A 6.75 typically means i like an album, it’s just not something I would recommend for everyone and typically has some flaws in it that prevent it from being worth considering the artist’s discography further. Downfall of Nur actually did a split with Slevans that’s better than this and I heavily encourage people to check it out, I gave it a 7.75/10 (my rating system is .25 increments from 0-10).