Lord Sinned – Vocals/Bass
Vitaliy Karavaev – Guitars
Igor Vershinin – Keyboards
Kim – Drums
2. Following the Black Kindness
3. To the Ultimate Gates
4. Black Essence of christ
5. Pressed Down By The Fallen Pivot Of Life (Lucifugum cover)
6. Black Winds
8. Through the Death
9. Armageddon (Terminal Choice cover)
Having been formed in 1996, Ungoliantha from the Ukraine have only just released their debut full-length studio album this year, entitled “Through the Chaos, Through Time, Through the Death”. Complete with an intro, two covers, and six original songs, Ungoliantha’s debut also features several guest appearances, and shows that this band definitely isn’t lacking when it comes to potential.
I enjoyed the fact that the bass plays such a predominant role in this album; too often the bass in other bands is completely lost in all the other tracks. Ungoliantha have also managed to avoid the overuse of the keyboards to provide atmosphere. Instead, they are used sparingly to add textures and dimensions to the music; for example, in “Following the Black Kindness” the keyboards give the music a slightly more folky feel. The gravely shouted vocals give everything a more frenzied and frantic feel, rasping your ears, and providing a counterbalance to the more melodic orchestrations provided by the keyboard arrangements. The English lyrics on “Black Winds” add a new facet to the band, although this doesn’t quite have the same impact and feeling as songs sung in their native language. The drums are also put to good use, providing a roiling backbone for the music.
Whilst fundamentally being symphonic black metal, this album effortlessly transcends boundaries by throwing in a host of other elements and sounds, although a clearer production quality would have made this much more outstanding. In addition to this, some of the different elements included in the music can be a bit jarring the first time you hear them, which does detract from the enjoyment of the album. And despite the different influences woven into the album, “Through the Chaos, Through Time, Through the Death” could do with more variation. All the tracks are of a similar pace, and the song structures also don’t deviate much from one song to the next, which can get a bit tedious towards the end of the album. Having said that, the exception to this is the techno-overkill of the last cover song “Armageddon”, but this just goes to show that Ungoliantha is capable of more, which makes it all the more a pity that they don’t utilise more variation throughout. Overall however, this is an interesting debut, and definitely one worth checking out for fans of symphonic black metal.