Uzala Uzala

Uzala Uzala
Take female-fronted, doom-influenced acts Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth, remove the better part of the long guitar solo explorations and loosen the level of strict adherence to '70s heavy rock convention, and you get Uzala. Roughly. the Boise-based quartet's greatest strength is their ability to exist within subgenres that are known for their (some would say, overly stubborn) adherence to the past while still maintaining an identity and vitality that make the band a noteworthy modern-day contender. At least for those who like their music in the ominous vein of the earliest, starkest Black Sabbath recordings. Uzala excel at those rawer doom elements, most impressively on "Plague," where the song's crawling, heart-slowing tempo places added emphasis on the bare minimum, effectively repetitive song structure. The vocals are also suitably haunting; however, they do suffer from being pushed too far back in the mix, at points. Issues of clarity aside, this is a very impressive debut. (At War With False Noise)