With a release from I, Voidhanger Records and affiliated labels, you can be certain about one thing: it is bound to be an interesting experience – whether you actually like the music or not, you know that, at least, you are going to embark on an interesting musical journey. Thus, while quite different from many of the other acts associated with I, Voidhanger Records, the British madman electro-metal project Umbah is a fitting artist to release through this label.
Enter the Dagobah Core, which is the thirteenth album to be released by Cal Scott under the Umbah monicker, is definitely an instance of an extreme music release. Combining extreme metal with extreme electronica, Scott takes the listener on a chaotic and often mind-boggling journey to the Dagobah core and back (Star Wars reference noted, by the way) through songs that combine elements from death metal, thrash metal, grindcore and even some hardcore punk with various types of extreme techno music whose genres label I cannot name due to my lack of insight into electronic music.
The overall approach of the album is one of avant-garde chaos, as every song is a flurry of riffs and electronic drumbeats – most of the time emulating drum patterns from exterme metal and sometimes more obviously electronica-derived – and contains numerous shifts, changes and impressions. As a bonus, the guitar leads occasionally go off on a Spheres-era Pestilence-ish jazz fusion path. The vocals which are at times growled, at times screamed, at times sung, and at times processed and enhanced digitally, pretty much reflect the overall chaotic feel that there is to Enter the Dagobah Core. However, the more you listen to the album – if you can take it (in all fairness, this is not easy listening music) – the more you realize that there is absolute order to this chaos.
This release is interesting. Is it good? I think it is. I think that there are a lot of positive qualities to Enter the Dagobah Core, but it is also an extremely challenging listen that requires a lot from its listener. Fans of both extreme metal and extreme electronica who are interested to hear what those two genres combined might sound like should check this release out.
1. Whispers of a Dying Sun, Part I
2. Bolderok Naron
3. Temple Bar
4. Dr. Geiger
5. Enter the Dagobah Core
6. Hypnotic Implant
7. Cosmic Garland
8. Mad Zu Chong
9. Oberon Tales
10. Rackborn Skin Expulsion
11. Serokate Fornion
13. Whispers of a Dying Sun, Part II