UNCREATIONIST: Whirlwind In The Ashes
Release year: 2022
Label: Insurmountable Rex
There’s a case to be made against the stereotypical, generic judeo-christian imagery so common in extreme metal. I say this as a fan of both black and death metal, and as someone who harbours rather fundamentally anti-christian views: yer generic blasphemous lyrics are too easily banal and passé. That’s why it’s always refreshing to come across an act who compromises none of the mystery and darkness whilst still finding more unusual means of expressing them.
Finnish Uncreationist take their cues from esoteric hindu lore, exploring cyclic concepts of birth, existence, undoing and rebirth on both a personal and more universal level. In the wheel of Samsara, they seem to find an endless source of suffering, violence and incompletion only the strongest can overcome – and in the Manvantara cycle they explore a universal existence always decaying towards strife, disorder and collapse, when there are no answers left.
In drawing from somewhat unusual (but not entirely unheard of) sources of inspiration from their lyrics, Uncreationist manage to convey convincingly bleak, monolithic visions of a world and an existence that always evolve towards ashes. At the same time they explore esoteric, even Hermetic mysteries that hint at ways to transcend the eternal dissolution.
The lyrical themes are a match for the music: dark, downtuned, sludgy death-doom that incorporates elements from black metal. This is the music of swirling maelstroms of chaotic power, of earth claiming back living flesh, of the malevolence in the blackness behind the stars, of the spiritual blackness of the age of Kali Yuga.
Through their lengthy compositions – the shortest track on the album is eight and a half minutes long – Uncreationist weave together torturously slow and heavy sections, sometimes accompanied by atmospheric synths in the background, as well as bursts of blasting speed. Classic, archaic death metal fuses into sludgy death-doom and primitive black death. The different strands are given a uniform appearance by the down-tuned, murky and even cavernous sound.
However, as laudable as the ambition shown by the complex compositions is, it is a bit of a double-edged sword. The downside is that, at times, it feels like the band overreach themselves somewhat and the complexity becomes a detriment. Sometimes less truly is more, and just a tad more straightforward compositions could have worked a charm.
The thing is, the overall sound of the album is convincing – at the best of times very convincing – and there is a massive amount of potential in Uncreationist. So it’s a bit of a shame that some of it is lost due to this one snag. Luckily, it’s not a dealbreaker: there are still plenty of things going for the album.
Whilst Uncreationist are not alone in exploring these dark, murky waters of extreme metal where downtuned black metal, cavernous death metal and sludgy death-doom unite in at times even discordant forms, it’s also something you don’t come across every day. Combined with a certain primitive old school, organic musical aesthetic and the already mentioned intriguing lyrical themes, I really dig Uncreationist’s musical concept.
So it’s too bad I can’t lavish endless heaps of praise on the album. It’s more of a “this album is nice, but…” type of situation; disclaimers are present. But then: the building blocks are all here. The band just need to hone those compositions, and things just may end up looking very different indeed.
As such, I would venture recommending Whirlwind In The Ashes to people who’re into this kind of stuff. But with a small reservation: maybe give the album a test spin first?
Visit Uncreationist on Bandcamp