As every country has a dominant genre in its Metal scene, is rather clear that Doom stays strong as the style that gives to Chile more fame among the Metalheads. It could be due to the melancholic spirit of my people, or maybe to the inspiration that offers an always imposing, cold and virgin nature, I don’t know. I could give you a lot of possible reasons, but what is clear is that bands like POEMA ARCANUS, MAR DE GRISES, BITTERDUSK, LETAL SOLARIS, DAEDELOTH or ASEIDAD have created a scene that, yet very underground and enclosed, is really worthy of respect. That’s why the apparition of this notable debut album by UARAL is not surprising, offering us a long, beautiful, atmospheric and extremely sad work. It is important to stress that, being “Sounds Of Pain” the first full length by the band, they’re not newcomers at all, as we have notices of them since their 1997 demo.
The album keeps a ceremonial, ritual-like atmosphere that by times reaches the edge of brilliancy. The use of simple, slow and melodic bases of piano and acoustic guitars, some flutes and a lot of different vocal elements going from subterranean grunts to nostalgic clean vocals give magic feelings and an everlasting presence of nature is touchable. “Sounds Of Pain” tries to catch the essence of beauty, loss and despair and does it in a great way, making the listener a true accomplice of its dark and hidden emotions.
Ok, until this moment, my review had shown the album as if it was the spirit of darkness itself, but unfortunately, we can also find something that makes everything good here to look less valuable: the use and abuse of all those cheap clichés that I always fear so much when I listen to a Doom Metal album for the first time. Ambient noises like rainfall, thunders and, what in my opinion if the worst, constant cries, laments, mourns etc by vocalist Caudal will be a constant and that’s especially frustrating if we consider that they’re not necessary at all, cause UARAL have enough musical and conceptual tools to manage without those little serious adds.
Ok, I already made my advertise about the only think I really complaint about in “Sounds Of Pain”. Aside that, you will find an album that contains a subtle, beautiful spirit that overwhelms. This is surely among the darkest Doom Metal releases I have ever heard, a beautiful journey to the roots of the genre to bury you beneath the ashes of sadness and sorrow. Highly recommended. (Online August 26, 2005)