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Underdark > Our Bodies Burned Bright on Re​-​Entry > 2021, Digital, Surviving Sounds > Reviews
Underdark - Our Bodies Burned Bright on Re​-​Entry

This Album Burns Bright Except For Track Three - 90%

Bird Bard, May 24th, 2023
Written based on this version: 2021, Digital, Surviving Sounds

I’ll preface this review by sharing that I don’t delve much into the “post” black genre, since I usually find the ambience a bit boring. More well-known acts in this vein like Deafheaven don’t interest me, but after seeing some praise for this album I decided to check it out. Especially given its short length (barely longer than 35 minutes), it was well worth my time and yours too.

My first impressions were a little confused, due to my lack of familiarity with this type of black metal, but after a few times through I really appreciate the atmosphere and production on this album. The guitars lean a little far towards the treble end of the spectrum sometimes, but the thundering drums and thankfully audible bass keep things balanced. The production reminds me a bit of the way early Wolves in the Throne Room was mixed, with that drum and guitar assault providing a wall of sound that only lets up for the beautiful melodic sections. The spoken word stuff tends to come in over those clean sections. I wouldn’t like the monologues too much, but they don’t dominate the auditory space but rather enhance it. There are actually some pretty heavy riffs to be found here, like the outro chug in “Qeres.”

While the instrumentation is really solid throughout in keeping things interesting and moody, the real strength of this album is in the vocal performance by Abi Vasquez. Both in spoken bits and the classic black metal scream, there’s a very unique and audible misery in her lyrics and sound. That scream is very throaty and raw, which I think lends it a degree of uniqueness, but it also blends into the spoken bits surprisingly well. This is extra important, since the subject matter and tone is so personal in each and every song.

All in all, this was a great find for someone who likes atmospheric black metal and blackened death more than the “post” black stuff. There’s enough power here to satisfy even diehards, but the real strength lies in the composition and emotion that the band manages to get across. Lastly, to address the review’s title, “Coyotes” is the one song on here that really doesn’t do it for me, lacking the creativity that every other track displays.

Favorite Track: Skeleton Queen