(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the latest album by the Mississippi-based death metal band Uzumaki, which was given a CD release last month by Vargeist Records.)
There comes a time for all of us when we are introduced to a project that has been going for a while, but we’ve overlooked, and once you make that discovery you’re immediately hooked. This was the case for me with the band Uzumaki, a death metal outfit run solely by Mr. Jared Moran, who creates complex and obscure songs that blow you away. That’s how I felt when listening to Uzumaki‘s latest offering, Spoken in Tongues. This record was digitally released last year, but thanks to Vargheist Records it has been captured in a physical format this year.
In planning for this small write-up I wanted to get familiar with Uzumaki’s complete catalogue. So I listened to the first album, Glossolalia, released back in 2012, and moved forward toward the newest one. I was curious to see if there had been some progression within the music or if instead it had become stale over time, and also to get a sense of the overall sound across the releases.
Having done that I became surprised that Uzumaki has not gotten more attention through the years, because the music is so good and so diverse within each release. While Uzumaki has maintained its uniqueness, the progression is also evident, and the level of musicianship is outstanding. Jared Moran plays everything and is such an amazing talent that he just dominates each of the instruments. The music is dark and intricate, with different engaging twists and turns in the songs as they unfold.
Spoken in Tongues is the fifth album and by far the shortest in the catalogue, running just 25 minutes. And I have to say it’s the most direct, without abandoning the technical elements. The changes are evident (including the song lengths), and I’ve found that this one is my favorite of the Uzumaki releases. I could list some bands that might be influences, but will not do that, because I want you to listen to the album and judge for yourselves. This is Uzumaki at its finest, with an obscure feel to the music yet with a production that is all natural.
The atmosphere is very dark and somehow relaxes me while listening. The vocal patterns and variety are very appealing, and the diversity (and occasional dissonance) in the guitar and bass performances stand out. Complexity is the name of the game, and they are top players, but the drumming provides a great counterpart, and is executed with no mercy (I also love their natural sound).
Overall, this is a project that has made me a fan for life. I hope it does get more recognition in the future. In the meantime, I will leave you the album stream as well as the Vargeist Bandcamp page where you can get the album, and the Uzumaki Bandcamp page, where you can check out the previous releases.