Ever think about what it might be like to suffer from deep dementia? Music might be a mood stabilizer, or rather, it could drastically reduce the listener to a lesser, more primal version of himself. Such is the case with sociopsychotic, raging dark metal deviants Uskumgallu, care of Vrasubatlat, a label that specializes in many forms of dark music. Mainly metal, but never easy to pigeon-hole with a genre tag that reeks of obvious, Vrasubatlat presents another testament to mentally-scalding music – the band, Uskumgallu, and their mini-album, Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood. Let the nightmares begin.
You won’t want to intentionally ingest another bottle of Nyquil if you plan on listening intently to this music. Primal urge may be devastatingly violent and savage, but the music on tap here is anything but primigenial. Instead, it is haunting and sophisticated at times, bordering on classical music-influenced. Like a string section in an orchestra, the band members here are well-schooled in the execution of their material, and the aesthetics that they feature in their songwriting is very apparent. I wouldn’t be surprised if the band had rehabilitated from a mental asylum before getting together, so they could offer the most authenticated demented dark metal to communicate their collective experiences better than they ever have.
Touched by darkness, the brain is a complex network of neurons, axons and dendron that could easily malfunction in worst-case scenario. Like neurotransmitters misfiring in the brain, thoughts put to inspiration by this music could prove devastating. In fact, dementia patients are well-advised to stay away from this, unless they are on a search for music fitting for the experience of derangement. Dissonant and at times intense, the cauldron reaches boiling point when all madness descends and the vocalist howls in apparent emptiness and emotional withdrawals, screaming into the mic and celebrating the unshackling of his social graces. Then, the guitar reaches a crescendo, the drummer plays to a wild frenzied tempo, and all hell scourges mankind’s deep inclination for apathy in a world where the next dominant species inherits mankind’s imminent end. Intense? This doesn’t merely blast end-to-end. It builds up and then climaxes in a release of all primal duress. The animal unleashed, the listener may not recognize just what has become of him – ranting, raving, and salivating like a lunatic. Then again, maybe, if the ironic sense of humor suits you, you’ll just enjoy the music because it’s dark and twisted.
This isn’t about catchy riffery thrash-metal style. It isn’t about mid-tempo black metal segments. The truth is the guitars feature plenty of aural textures and anti-technical dissonant melodies. The drums feature fill-ins that temper the moods from narcoleptic to downright furious and back again. Dark metal is art far removed from the litany of albums that can sometimes reduce the listening experience to being in a hospital enduring withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, music pre-dates mood, teeming with angst before the final bloodletting. Dark metal is an art that suicidal black metal bands barely encompass. It is morbid, violent, sophisticated, and downright fun for the right person. If Kenny G fits dental offices to a T, Uskumgallu is the same for an insane asylum. Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood is catharsis in the form of dark music. Be warned.