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Uprising - II - 93%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 27th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, Vinyl, Wolfsgrimm Records

Uprising are kind of a side project by a guy with the alias W. (or Winterherz), who is also part of the great German band Waldgeflüster. While both acts have a lot in common and share quite a few similar attributes Uprising is a bit of a different beast. Like some of you might have already guessed “II” is the second full length, and it shows a great continuation of the first album.

On this album W. managed to create a sound that is both extremely hard-hitting and highly melodic, inserting enough earworm riffs into the songwriting to satisfy even picky listeners. All the tracks offer pure rush of black metal darkness replete with robust blast beats and fantastically melodramatic guitar-driven majesty. There is a certain harsh vibe hovering over the music, but ultimately the epic hooks are dominating, with the combination of chaos and order, darkness and light creating a dense yet captivating atmosphere.

From the desolate spell woven by the glorious first track “There’s No Such Thing as Hope”, with its whirling tremolo harmonies and captivating threads of glimmering lead guitar, until the groovy aggressiveness of the last song W. takes you on a heavy ride. Melodic guitar harmonies are omnipresent in the background over the whole playing time, lending the music an epic feeling. While the playing can become a bit sophisticated in places, W. mainly focused on creating a dense atmosphere and some absolutely mind-bending hooks, ranging from being melancholic and dreamy to eerie and nihilistic, but always memorable and breath-taking and easy to enjoy.

While listening to “II” you will go through the motions, as a lot of contrasting elements are used to define the mood, like calamity and aggression, pain and pleasure, light and darkness. The whole record can be viewed as a natural synthesis of mournful sounds and disparate styles, all combined in one bold, enlightened display of unbound creativity. The riffs burn and swirl with evil intent, and become sinister and savagely delirious, both ominous and dismal, while the aggressiveness of the music is accompanied by deep emotions. Those are further underlined by the intense vocal delivery, switching between being raw and brutal and a somehow cleaner style.

The production is absolutely hitting the nail on the head, finding the perfect middle ground between sounding huge and powerful yet not too modern and polished. Each instrument has got enough room in the mix and in the end everything comes together in great harmony. The cover artwork is also a very classic one and top notch, so I wholeheartedly recommend to get this record in physical format (released by Wolfsgrimm Record) to each fan of relentless and captivating black metal. This one surely will get a place in my year-end 2020 list.