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Umbra Nihil is an experimental doom metal act hailing from northern Finland. The band was already formed in 2000, but not until now do they release their first proper release (however, their demo was released as a split CD with Aarni in 2002). Umbra Nihil's debut album carries the title of 'Gnoia' and it contains an hour of rather slow, at times melodic doom metal.
The music on 'Gnoia' is rather multifaceted, since it contains both grotesque metal moments and ethereal clean passages. Some of Umbra Nihil's influences are Unholy, Cathedral, Camel, early Paradise Lost and The Gathering, so the result is at least intriguing. For a doom metal album, Umbra Nihil's Gnoia is rather experimental, and thus I recommend it to more open-minded listeners of doom metal.
Production-wise this album is slightly undistinguished, since some of the sounds could have been better. For example, the rhythm guitars need a bit more extra bite and the drums could have been more assertive. In addition, there's a small amount of background distortion audible every now and then. Nonetheless, the sounds are otherwise rather felicitous.
In case you aren't narrow-minded when it comes to music, Umbra Nihil's Gnoia might favourably surprise you... for listeners who appreciate creativity, Gnoia delivers the goods rather well. It's a promising debut release, which doesn't lose its appeal too soon.
Release date: April 13th, 2005
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- MAGE (April 10th, 2005)
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