The world is a cold, dark and often unforgiving place to live, Life Obliteration by Uten Håp reflects this perfectly with this collection of 7 tracks of depressive, suicidal black metal.
I’m a newcomer to the band having only stumbled across their mention on my Twitter feed. After some investigation, I found the music to be darkly soothing, incredibly raw, personal, almost hypnotic in a way that few other artists and genres can be. Sure, Life Obliteration isn’t going to be for everybody. The record is awash with painful, mournful shrieks as opposed to singing, the guitars aren’t set to stun, they’re set to kill. They drone throughout the record creating wall after wall of grim chord progressions. But, buried beneath the reverb and the agonising vocals sit songs that do well in creating bleak, hopeless atmospheres, held together with dark melodies.
After the tortured and epic sounding opener, Life Obliteration, the next track, Painful Memories eases the listener in with a delicate piano opening. It’s pleasing to the ear and shows that Uten Håp mainman Danthor Wildcrow has more than one trick up his sleeve. Unrest opens with trademark buzzsaw guitars before erupting in a splutter of drums then settling into a nice pace. It’s a quality track and one of my favourites from the album.
Both of the tracks Non-existant and Forsaken In A Night feature tsunamis of guitar, but both have prominent melodies for you to hold on to. The latter of the two is a particular highlight as it builds and builds into a hauntingly hopeless yet epic song. Path of Sorrow slows things down a little after the quick-fire beginning to the previous track and in doing so, it keeps the album from becoming tedious. There is an ominous build-up to this track and it feels more reflective perhaps than some of the others. There are more moments of quiet which allows the song to breathe and in turn, it becomes more memorable. Normal service is resumed for the final track, Forever Unseen, a familiar mid-tempo slog through hopelessness and despair.
Life Obliteration is a cold and often unforgiving piece of work, as I’m sure was always the intention. Genre fans will lap it up as I’m sure others will be left a little perplexed by it all. The sound is raw, very raw in fact (a staple of the genre), the songs are long, but drenched in dark melody and have a kind of cinematic, hopeless, nihilistic beauty to them. Recommended listening for DSBM fans.
I bought this album from Bandcamp. Check it out here.