(Andy Synn officially kicks off his 2022 coverage with a look at the debut album from uiv)
At last, it’s time to take a look/listen at what the new year has for us, and I’ve decided to get things started with a short-but-sweet review of the debut EP by mysterious underground Death Metal dissophiles uiv.
Clocking in at five tracks (and just over twenty two minutes), Frigus is a short, but densely-packed, debut from a band who clearly have a lot of ambitious ideas and an excess of potential, as well as both the drive and talent to capitalise and deliver on both.
Obviously names like Ulcerate and Imperial Triumphant will immediately spring to mind during opener “Tired Hands”, whose deceptively innocent opening bars do nothing to prepare you for the calculated contortions and controlled chaos which follows, but as the EP progresses you will – I hope – begin to uncover all the subtle shades and neurotic nuances which help make uiv stand out, even at this early stage in their career.
Most notably, you’ll discover that beneath all the angular dissonance and thunderous distortion of a song like “The Cycle of the Elements” – one of several stunning showcases for the band’s terrifying technical talents (the drums in particular, both here and throughout the EP, are nothing less than exceptional) – the band also incorporate an almost Post-Rock-like sense of abstract, dreamlike ambience, as well as an eerie undercurrent of unorthodox melody, positioning them as potential heirs to both the experimental sonic-terrorism of France’s Chaos Echoes and the boundary-pushing brutality of Flourishing.
This compositional creativity is particularly notable during the atmosphere-drenched assault of “Frozen Tributaries”, a song as atmospheric as it is abrasive, as enigmatic as it is extreme – and which, at certain points, echoes both the grim grandeur of Ihsahn‘s early solo work and the vertigo-inducing intensity of Baring Teeth – but takes on even more prominence during the simmering, shimmering, instrumental strains of “Mother”, which provides an even closer look at the band’s more introspective side.
Closer “Terrasleep” then adds yet another intriguing facet to the band’s identity, incorporating gargantuan, doom-laden discordance akin to Teeth‘s darkest, dirtiest material in its first half, only to transform into something altogether stranger – think Ingurgitating Oblivion but even more psychedelic – as it builds towards a truly unsettling and unrelenting climax.
Long story short… it’s only January and I may already have discovered my EP of the year.