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Uaral - Lamentos A Poema Muerto CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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Any Colour You Like
4 stars I did not know what to expect when I downloaded Uaral's second full length album from their page (yes, it is free and legal). What I got was a wonderfully emotional mix of Classical Latin guitar, neofolk, dark ambient and guttural doom-like vocals. Mixed in with this, is a healthy dose of keyboard atmospherics, the occasional clean-tone guitar riff, nature samples and a further mixture of screamed, sung and cried vocals. Yes, crying.

Lamentos a Poema Muerto is a depressing album. I can't understand the vocals, but they sound quite brutally downcast. Combine this with the stark orchestration, gives the album a very solitary feel, and helps the listener gain a sense of mourning and loss. The latin inspired acoustics are really nice, and clash heavily with the growled vocals. Interesting, yes, but also quite experimental and genre-challenging. There is nothing technical about the music here, but with Uaral that does not matter. It is all about setting the emotion and mood. It is also worth noting that band member Aciago plays all the instruments, which is no mean feat in itself, with Caudal providing the vocals. Several tracks stand out, especially "Lamentos", which manages to showcase all the feathers in the cap of the band, whilst developing a soul-wrenching sound. The album is not without faults however. The deep guttural growls are extremely hard to understand, even making it nigh-on impossible to even decipher what language the lyrics are sung in. And while crying is a valid expression of emotion, I personally feel the cried vocals sections may be just a little too much for a relatively restrained and sedate album. It is also worth noting that there is no 'metal' as per se here - with the exception of the vocals. So if you were thinking of a Chilean version of Agalloch, think again.

Nonetheless, Lamentos a Poema Muerto is an interesting and thought provoking album, a wonderful experimental mash of ideas and sonic aesthetics. It also stands as a neat little hidden gem of Chilean music.

Report this review (#275172)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Lamentos A Poema Muerto' - Uaral (7/10)

It takes alot of creativity and innovation to come up with a sound that is original and fresh. The problem with treading into uncharted territory however, is that there is not a precedent concerning what necessarily works and what doesn't. The concept of taking a metal aesthetic and transposing it to an almost completely acoustic setting may have been done once or twice before, but Uaral takes their latin heritage and makes a convincing and heart- wrenching blend of doom metal and classical Spanish folk with their sound. It is however, not without it's flaws.

The most pronounced and memorable thing about the album actually ends up being Uaral's biggest point of contension. I am speaking about the vocals; specifically the awkward combination of having lo-fi doom growls thrown atop serene acoustic guitar playing. Had the album been entirely instrumental, it would be a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. The vocals do work at times -especially when the singer Caudal takes his scream up higher or uses his clean baritone voice- but the doom growls are so low-set that it sounds almost like noise to distract from the perfect instrumental work.

Regardless, Uaral presents me one of the best guitar albums I have ever heard. The acoustic playing does not involve 'shredding' or any of the other things people typically associate with guitar mastery; it is the emotion that is able to be conveyed through the mere plucking of strings that gets to me here. Due to the fact that the album is highly depressing and introspective in nature (there is a point where the singer literally breaks down into tears,) the guitars are played with a very heightened sense of fragility and vulnerability to compliment the subject matter and overall feel of the music.

Oh yes, this album is depressing. It's very depressing.

I wouldn't consider this metal perse despite the growled vocals, but it should appeal to an open-minded metalhead who doesn't think everything has to be 'br00tal' in nature in order to be worth a spin. Uaral performs one of the more moving albums I've heard, with some great replayability to boot. It's not without some problems, but it is certainly something for those looking for an album along the lines of other dark folk metal bands such as Agalloch.

Report this review (#284459)
Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
4 stars Released as a legal free download, Uaral's second full-length album is an utterly depressing journey driven by mostly acoustic instrumentation, having a folky nature with some clear native influences. This sets a melancholic and atmospheric mood. A very intriguing one, as Lamentos A Poema Muerto features some innovative and unconventional vocals, ranging from dense growls to screams and even cried vocals.

The somber atmoshpere on the the album is truly beautiful. Benign classical guitar drives nearly every song on this album, with drums and keys only every now and then appearing to strengthen the mood. What stands out the most on this album is the innovative use of unusual vocals over the acoustic music. Very low growls make a frequent appearance in the music and sound incredible. They are nowhere as ferocious as typical growls, but instead have a mournful and desolate feel. The same goes for the screams and the sheer melancholy of the cried vocals. Despite that I don't understand the Spanish lyrics, it is not very difficult to sense the sorrowful emotions in them. All of these elemts work so well together, with the result being an incredible and unique album. The album is quite a consistent thing as well, with no weak songs and all of them having a haunting and desolate feel. The two pieces here that cross the 10 minute mark probably are my favorites though.

Lamentos A Poema Muerto is definitely an album worth checking out, though it certainly won't appeal to anyone. I could imagine one could feel the vocals here are a bit too much. Nevertheless, I consider the album to be excellent, especially for something that is released as a free download.

Report this review (#295977)
Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A deliciously dark and atmospheric album.

After downloading this on recommendation from another Prog Archives member (Any Colour You Like) I was pleasantly surprised by the use of incredibly harsh and guttural growls in such an incredibly unique context. The mixture of Latin guitars, funeral-doom influenced guitar playing and blood-curdling growls create a matrix of atmospherics and an incredibly addictive signature tone.

The instrumentation is lo fi in nature, mostly mixing one or two layers of Spanish guitars with the aforementioned growls and the occasional organ. The mix of having such growls, and occasionally operatic clean vocals, on top of the guitar, is a great mix of heaviness, bleak darkness and beauty. In that sense, Uaral create their own progressive masterpiece on Lamentos A Poema Muerto.

The music itself is as mentioned before, moving through just under 45 minutes of darkness. The guitar work is heartbreaking, and the pure emotion from the vocals make it sound as if the vocalist is truly pouring out emotion in an incredibly raw form. The tracks are all similar in fashion, but all have a unique sound and texture to them, although remain within the same sound. The particularly notable track Lamentos is the longest, coming in at around 11 minutes, features a wonderful mix of slow guitars, truly hurting vocals, organ and electric guitar.

As a two man band, one member on vocals and the other on all instrumentation, this effort is remarkable and incredibly promising. As this album is offered for free download through the band's page, every music fan should check this one out.

4/5 for the quality; unfortunately this does not blow me away, although is still an incredibly strong effort.

Report this review (#302597)
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Review Permalink

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