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Ungoliantha – The Howl in the Waste

Ungoliantha
The Howl in the Waste
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 June 2019, 4:49 AM

UNGOLIANTHA is a Black Metal band based out of the Ukraine. Formed in 1996, they did not get to release a studio album until 2015. They took their name from the ancient spider beast Ungolianth in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth. Their latest EP here is titled “The Howl in the Waste,” and contains five tracks…the fourth is a LORD BELIAL cover.

“The Old Blind Man” leads off the album, with a traditional Black Metal sound right out of the gate. The guitars maintain a steady presence with vile vocal screams, but some background keys add another element to the music. It’s harrowing and evil. “The Howl in the Waste” opens with some light Symphonic elements, ostensibly simulated from the keyboards. The vocals almost sound animal like, coming from the “goat-man” you often associate the Devil with. The landscape changes with the addition of bass guitar notes and a new cadence, ending in a blood-curling scream.

“The Ghost Wanderer” is a slower and deeper number, still with some light Symphonic elements that don’t over-power the tortuous sound. They shake things up here and there with some diversity in sound, never willing to rest on just one main riff. “Hymn of the Ancient Spirit of the Forest” is a cover that I have never heard the original for, but it seems to fit in with the other tracks on the album quite well…rolling, thunderous drums and raging vocals, with a big guitar presence. He declares “I am the ancient misanthropic spirit of the forest” with passion. “Spawn of Ungolinath (Outro)” closes the album. It’s an excerpt of Radagast the Brown speaking with Gandalf in the movie “The Hobbit,” about spiders being back in the world as the spawn of Ungolianth.

Overall, a very enjoyable album from a band that is a bit of a mystery for me. I wonder why it took them nearly 20 years to finally release an album? And why the EP now? I don’t know but it’s a fresh slab of Black Metal with doesn’t rest on its laurels but rather goes out head first and charges at you like a raging bull. The Symphonic elements are just there in support but do not take over the sound. It’s frightening and terror-filled so be ready for its onslaught!

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Old Blind Man
2. The Howl in the Waste
3. The Ghost Wanderer
4. Hymn of the Ancient Spirit of the Forest
5. Spawn of Ungolianth (Outro)
Lineup:
Lord Sinned – Vocals
Beard – Drums
Lyss Flanscallen – Bass
Lina – Keyboards
Grizz – Guitar
Record Label: Independent
     


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