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Immersive DSBM universe needs more individuality - 67%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, May 4th, 2017

One-man Norwegian DSBM band Uten Hap certainly has announced his arrival with four short EPs of music in the space of four months, of which so far I've heard the most recent, "Despair", and this earlier one, "Fate". These two aren't all that different from each other - both feature intense and highly emotional depressive music going full-bore from one end of the recording to the other - so I don't expect the other two recordings to be all that different.

As on "Despair", the music is intended to be fully immersive and for the most part it's continuous tremolo guitar drone shower throughout which distant vocals roar and howl. Bashing percussion and riffing give the music structure that listeners can follow - though these structural elements seem so basic that the more unkind among us might suggest they're all operating on autopilot. But the case may be that actual music and songs are not what Uten Hap is about: if the aim of the project is to create a sound universe that gives listeners an idea of what hopelessness, despair, the monotony of living without purpose, and feeling desperate to the point where suicide seems like the only rational option actually feels like, then UH has succeeded very well.

The tracks might sound alike at first but repeated hearings (if you can stand them!) do show differences in the technical details of riffs and melodies. UH do a good enough job maintaining the emotion but the potential for the constant screaming to go over into theatrical camp is ever present. I'm sure if I listen to this recording and other UH mini-albums enough, I'll start laughing at all the vocal histrionics. The music itself should be enough to convey the terror of living under a black cloud without the circus of screeching and wailing to spoil it. This might mean that UH needs to put something more into the music that makes it more individual, perhaps more personal, and less generically DSBM.