In 2016, Portland, Oregon’s Uada released Devoid of Light to resounding critical acclaim. This triumphant debut instantly became a hallowed gem in the underground for its spectral melodies and profound songwriting. Now—just over two years later—the band has emerged with their titanic follow-up: Cult of a Dying Sun. In this installment, Uada claws at the cosmos in what is an undeniably bold sophomore release.
Wasting no time with whooshing, ambient intros, the album immediately plunges into cymbal crashes and cascading harmonies on “The Purging Fire.” Veteran fans will appreciate the similarities to Uada’s first release as evidenced by the wolven howls and soaring guitar passages. However its successor, “Snakes & Vultures,” truly launches the record into vast, new territory. This colossal composition ebbs and flows between vehement vocal patterns and pensive tempos which conjure the sort of biting, barren landscape reflected on the cover. Its lyrics are littered with intoxicating alliteration, further cementing Uada’s ability to craft intricate, deadly music.
Cult of a Dying Sun is remarkably well-paced, with a soulful yet hypnotizing instrumental (“The Wanderer”) anchoring the album’s perfect middle. Its unearthly chants are gripping, and in its final moments, the lingering plucks of the acoustic guitar wane into reverent silence. This sparks a powerful transition into its successor, “Blood Sand Ash,” a glowing arrangement accentuated with lively drums rolls, ghastly chants, and ethereal shrieks of pyroclastic anguish. “Sphere (Imprisonment)” preserves the theme of chords spewing forth like torrential rapids, but inventively bookends itself with haunting uses of waterphone and piano.
Cult of a Dying Sun‘s grand chronicle is ceremoniously closed with “Mirrors.” The towering 10-and-a-half-minute epic looms with skillful percussion and captivating melodies which conclude a record that’s introspective and compelling. Uada may still be very fresh into their career; however, Cult of a Dying Sun reveals tremendous sophistication and capability. Whether you’ve been following them since the beginning or have just been introduced, this blackened anthology is a thunderous burst of astral proportions.
Photography by Peter Beste
Link to for digital purchase: https://uada.bandcamp.com/album/cult-of-a-dying-sun