I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS
PRESENTS

 




        


UMBAH
TRILOBETH
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FORMAT:
CD    CATALOG N. IVR-002

1. The Fall Of Modern Thought (5:18)
 
2. Horon Vakel (5:31)
3. BeeHive (4:15)
4. Beryllium Crisis (5:55)
5. Sheep Of Sad Fate (4:53)
6. A Happy Story (4:38)
7. A Little Uneasy (4:48)
8. Mesoria A Larkara (4:37)
9. A Zen Horizon (4:17)
10. To A Somber Place (1:58)
11. Trilobeth (4:06)
12. Girl From Mars (5:08)
13. Torn (2:24)

Total time 57:48

Jewelcase CD with 12-page full color booklet

Released April 16th, 2010 

BUY NOW AT OUR STORE

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Conceived and recorded in 2007, "Trilobeth" is UMBAH's highest achievement in the industrial death/grind metal field. A titanic monument to metal madness, an intimidating weapon projected to erase and re-write the extreme metal vocabulary, opening new vistas on uncharted territories.

UMBAH is Cal Scott: vocals, guitars, programming


UMBAH is Cal Scott's creature, born in 1990 from the ashes of UK's death/grind act Necrosanct.

Syringing the mechanical, alienating coldness of industrial metal into a deformed death/grind hulk, Scott gives life to a Frankenstein's metal monster that speaks a unique musical language, as progressive and breathtaking as the ones by Cynic, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Skinny Puppy, late Ulver, Voivod, and Gorguts.

Now, after many years of underground militancy, UMBAH comes out of the shadows with its most ambitious and annihilating work to date.
Thanks to complex arrangements, creative song-structures, weird industrial sounds, schizophrenic vocals, dark and disturbing melodies, jazz contaminations and symphonic interludes, "Trilobeth" raises the avant-garde extreme metal flag to new heights.



      

ZEN SOUNDS



THE FALL OF MODERN THOUGHT


      

VIDEOS

 

BeeHive
Official video. Animation by Drew Radley at My Insomnia Presents

 



      

UMBAH : DISCOGRAPHY


    
ALBUMS                                                                                              
   DEMOS
                                                                                              
ENTER THE DAGOBAH CORE (I, Voidhanger Records, 2011)
TRILOBETH  (I, Voidhanger Records, 2010)
ARADROLOS 
(Self Released, 2009)                                                          SOLACITY ENTWINED  (Self released, 1995)
GRIMLOCK SARIS 
(Self released, 2006)                                                   INCURABLE COPPERTURNER  (Self released, 1992)
ALIEN BEAUTY  (Self released, 2004)                                                        OBLIVION CRIES  (Self released, 1990)
CANVASS  (Self released, 2003)
OCTUPI 
(Self released, 2002)
SLAIN 
(Self released, 2001)
OBLITICUS 
(Self released, 2000)
7 DAYS OF HORROR 
(Self released, 1999)
XOMINOD 
(Self released, 1998)
SOLARIS
  (Self released, 1997)                                                                 
UMBAH's whole back-catalogue is available in MP3 format at
CONTINUUM 
(Self released, 1996)      
                                                       http://www.umbah.co.uk/cybergrind/mp3z.htm


      

TRILOBETH : REVIEWS



HELLBOUND.CA
Review by Johnathan Smith

Though Umbah has been around for quite some time, 2007’s Trilobeth has been given a more widespread release on I, Voidhanger Records. It’s a technical album that demands patience at first, but one that will offer up many-layered rewards for those who like their extreme music to be maniacal. Cal Scott’s one-man project is a smorgasbord of influences and sounds, and this album is no exception. I, Voidhanger’s press release states that Umbah is influenced by everything from Skinny Puppy and Fear Factory to Cynic and Voivod. Indeed, the album’s schizophrenic songs owe much to influences ranging from from prog metal to industrial music. Rather than try and blend all of these elements together, however, Scott goes for a more scissors-and-glue approach. Trilobeth is an album that is impossible to pin down, so it’s best to just go with its flow. Some examples of the album’s shifts in direction? The sudden bursts of drum-machine blast-beats and the eerily calming jangling guitars in “The Fall of Modern Thought,” and more recent Skinny Puppy-esque electronic stylings that collide head-on with crushing metal riffs and sewer-gurgle vocals in the title track. “Beehive” builds to an eerie chorus in which a buzzing, whiny-voiced narrator comes to terms with its (de)humanization in a dystopic society, while “Girl From Mars” is an endearing “ode” filtered through distorted vocal effects and galloping riffs. The whole album is open to jazzy digressions and coated with a science fiction-themed gloss. Trilobeth doesn’t offer much of in terms of a focused style, but its seeming adaptability and multiplicity are its strengths. It’s a release that is a musical tribute to our technological and frenzied reality.
[8 out of 10]

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METALREVIEWS.COM
Review by Zadok

How's this for obscure? Umbah have been slaving away in the British underground for years, self-releasing twelve full lengths since 1996 without a bit of recognition from the metal media, and it's only now that I've received a promo copy of this reissue of 2007's Trilobeth that I've even heard of them. Pretty much a one-man band, Cal Scott (of the extremely cult Death Metallers Necrosanct) performs all instruments, and it's clearly a labour of love from a look at the band's website, where all of the albums are available to download free of charge. As with many artists that do this, it's great stuff, and more than worthy of hitting the donate button to support. I'll admit to not familiarising myself with all twelve full-lengths, but from Trilobeth it's easy to hear the genius. Heavily Industrial and electronic, guitars range from Death Metal chugs to ambient weirdness, and the sheer variety is at once the album's biggest strength and biggest weakness.
This is quite a trip, melding the chaotic bludgeoning of Meshuggah with the Industrial soundscapes of Skinny Puppy, but anyone who has heard examples of Industrial Black Metal will find familiar sounds too, Umbah having shades of Wolok and Blut Aus Nord. The focus is Death rather than Black, however, and more like the Ulcerates and Gorguts of the scene than the Deicides. Each and every track is different, making for a difficult album to get to grips with - some songs will have elements of one aspect of the band's sound, others go in a completely different direction. It's well-played and very cleverly composed, however, and if you're willing to give the music the time it needs, this is a rewarding album. Take opener The Fall Of Modern Thought as an example, weirdly psychedelic guitar tones zooming from ear to ear before the (extremely well-programmed) drums kick in, almost breakbeats beneath the spidery guitars and twisted vocals. It briefly launches into blastbeats and torrential riffage, but is never happy when the listener isn't off-balance and reeling at the strange sounds invading, as they soon do in strangely Tech-Death fashion.
The closest comparison I can make is Dødheimsgard after an overdose of psychedelics, allowing their sound to sprawl in all directions rather than point in one. Horon Vakel spends time following electronic threads to their natural conclusions with sudden bursts of soloing, Beehive is driven more or less fully by electronics, clean vocals making for a Goth-induced track that is surprisingly catchy, and Beryllium Crisis' meandering twangs and dread-filled distorted vocals build up the tension until the song just suddenly stops, leaving you hanging. The heavier, almost Grinding Sheep Of Sad Fate brings The Berzerker to mind, but it's a very different sound to the Aussies, and you'll forget all about it when the following A Happy Story turns to pastures more commonly associated with old Mudvayne. Of course, it's better than anything from the thankfully forgotten LD.50, but the comparison will probably be enough to put some people off. Rest assured, this is far from Nu Metal, sitting firmly in metal territory as melodies flow over each other and rhythmic surges pound and pulse.
Pleasingly, the album gets weirder the deeper into it you get, from the out-there time signatures and Goregrind vomiting of A Little Uneasy to throwing classical elements into the mix on Mesoria A Larkara. It's really one of those peculiar records than only fans of a certain style will bother hunting down and checking out, and it's a shame, as any open-minded metalhead who enjoys his music with a hefty dollop of mental on the top will find much to appreciate here. The finest accolade I can ultimately give Umbah is that the band will still be playing its unique style in ten years' time, whether you check it out or not - driven wholly and purely by love of the music, Cal Scott is a hero of the underground, and deserves all the attention and praise that he's survived so long without.
[82 out of 100]

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ABSOLUTE ZERO MEDIA MAGAZINE (azm-magazine.blogspot.com)
Review by ABZ

This is a very cool avant sci fi / post black metal journey you don't hear these two mixes of sounds very much . Mix Thorn. Satyricon and Immortal with Voivod, Ayreon and Oxiplegatz for good measure and you have UMBAH. There are very Industrial moments where bands like Fear Factory or Blut Aus Nord. This is a very difficult listen if you do not like this very over the top style . It will sound like electronic noise or musical overload. I really love the chaos and almost all lost of control and letting the sounds just over wash and rule the day... There is something very Samael about this band at times to esp the mid period Samael stuff. Umbah does going into some KMFDM, SWANS, SKINNY PUPPY moments as well and it all works so well. I know that I Voidhanger label is part of AMTF and you know how much I love what there doing this one if not the most interesting indie label out there today... Hydrahead, Southernlord and Moribund as right up there as well. This is just a mind numbingly powerful release and will keep me on my toes for weeks if not months to come...

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AVANTGARDE-METAL.COM
Review by Suleiman

The man's proficiency knows no bounds. He is back with another amazing release, and to boot it could be his best work yet. Taking the bizarre twisting industrial extreme metal sound from his previous albums, Cal morphs it into a thing of dystopian beauty. This is musical insanity in its truest form.
I will now dissect some of the album's hi-light tracks to try and get your feeble brains to comprehend the genius at work here.
A Zen Horizon - References some older Umbah material, but manages to be disturbing in its minimalism, which lends the occasional strange samples and
the eerie background synths even more potency. The vocals are mangled by multi-stage processing in places, and the song structure will make most metal musicians weep blood. Strangely, despite the complexity, the main motif sticks like glue.
Beehive - This could be the lead video single in a world where MTV stood for Masticating Teleportation Visuals. A massive track that shows Cal sculpting an insanely catchy tune, with some dark twining riffing and synthy rhythms that explode into rage and similarly back and forth. Great sense of timing and in no time this will have you shouting 'I think its a robotic beehive, I think Im only human left alive.' If there was any justice in the world, this could break into more mainstream metal since its the closest thing to accessible on this album, while remaining very much an Umbah song.
Mesoria a Larkara - Continuing this new-found vitality of fresh sounds, this sounds plain epic, and veers into sympho-metal territory (if the orchestra was conducted by Skinny Puppy). It rips through the heart of a million bands pretending artistic integrity via a couple of violas. The juxtaposition of discordant stop start riffing, rich synths, insane screeches, beautiful piano runs and squeaky violas will leave you breathless. I was thinking of Umbah progressing but did not expect this. Wow!
Sheep of Sad Fate - More upfront brutal than the other tracks, this shreds in classic Umbah style, but gain it has a doomy underbelly to the lightning fast grind death framework. Riffing is top notch all the way. And what is it with the drums? In most places it sounds like someone is actually playing/bashing a drumkit instead of programming it. This guy just rips apart digital drum programming. The atonal riffing layers attack and slay yet remain faithful to the song, and the outro is absolutely nuts, with the haunting sounds and funky drums.
Trilobeth - The heaviest song on the record, and an absolute head smasher of a track. The soundtrack to a mad alien-cyborg killing spree, this once again raises the bar for death metal, with its aggression, guitar work, structure and vocals.
To a Somber Place - A soundtrack to a non-existent 70's euro-art thriller, with some very authentic tones and textures. Takes cues from jazz and avant garde classic and takes it to new heights.
Torn Again - More overtly industrial than some of the other tracks, this is a disturbing looping morphing slice of insanity. Imagine Skinny Puppy and Controlled Bleeding jamming, and take it from there.
The tracks I have not mentioned are just as awesome, and it is hard to choose a favourite. In a nutshell, if you are already familiar with Umbah, prepare to be pleasantly surprised at the evolution, and if you are not, prepare to have your socks blown off and brains melted. As ever, the whole thing is available for free download at http://www.umbah.co.uk/cybergrind/mp3z.htm
I actually feel guilty for downloading it because it blows most of the albums I paid for out of the water. This is further proof that the best avant garde metal is still being created in the darkest recesses of the underground, and has little to do with monetary concerns.

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METALREVIEW.COM
Review by Chris Chellis

Umbah must have one hell of an odd story to tell because this is actually the band’s 11th studio album according to quick but efficient research, despite myself or anyone I know ever having heard of them. And this isn’t even the band’s most recent album. That would be Aradrolos, released last year. So what gives? Who are these oddballs and what can we glean from their under-the-radar but considerably lengthy career?
It’s made pretty clear from the outset that Umbah is the epitome of a “project.” People come and people go, but Umbah remains Umbah. This is the kind of group that is bandied about as a quote unquote collective, with only one member being a constant contributor. Perhaps the artsy fartsy aesthetic is warranted in this case. Gargled vocals and Sigh-esque WTF transitions decorate this industrial death metal album like sprinkles on a third-grader’s cupcake, the product of a people less concerned with order than overwhelming the senses. There’s more going on here than most could handle, that’s for sure.
The more adventurous listener will find enough to like on Trilobeth. Riffs twist and turn quicker than a Tim Hardaway crossover. Genres meld to the point where distinguishing them becomes a pointless task. The general ambience is not unlike Buckethead shredfest meets Sigh synth fun, all with a death metal overtone. It is quite the production. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed by how together it sounds given the chaos. Unfortunately the novelty can wear a bit thin and by album’s end you’re not sure what song you like best because it was a pretty big blur.
[6.2 out of 10]

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METALLIZED.IT
Review by Lynda Giacomello

Eclettismo, intelligenza, audacia, ed estro infinito. Basterebbero queste parole per definire la proposta musicale targata Umbah, che poi altro non è che una studiata e affascinante one man band inglese, la quale, sotto la guida del geniale Cal Scott (già Necrosanct e Microcosm), sfodera questo re-release di Trilobeth, opera del 2007, dopo una parentesi produttiva di ben diciassette anni.
Per i neofiti, riassumo brevemente: il progetto Umbah nasce nel 1990 a Brighton, in terra d’Albione, ed ha al suo attivo ben tredici lavori, tra cui cito, secondo il mio personalissimo gusto, Solaris (1997), 7 Days of Horror (2000), e Alien Beauty (2005). Nonostante i cambi di formazione, il monicker rimane lo stesso, sfornando (e bisogna dirlo!) con una impressionante produttività un full lenght dietro l’altro, affinando il proprio sound in una direzione che non è certo facile e possibile dimensionare come experimental death metal.
Gli Umbah amano definire il loro genere cyber grind: uno stranissimo ma riuscitissimo mix tra industrial, avantgarde e grind è infatti quello che suonano, riuscendo a creare mirabili ponti e collegamenti tra bands come Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Laibach, Marilyn Manson, Katatonia e che rappresentano il loro bagaglio d’ispirazione.
Certo è che (lo dico subito) volendo essere precisi, ci sono talmente tante stratificazioni e influenze che sarebbe una grande sfida citarle tutte: Fatboy Slim, addirittura gli Underworld, ma anche echi della new wave britannica, racchiusa in alcuni passaggi alla Julian Cope.
Detto questo, Trilobeth potrebbe apparire un album indigesto: ebbene, non lo è affatto. Perché, quando si è capaci di scrivere buoni pezzi, brani che funzionano, quando si ha veramente qualcosa da dire come ce l’hanno gli Umbah, penso sinceramente che non ci siano barriere musicali, e le definizioni, le etichette, gli inquadramenti, lasciano il tempo che trovano.
Prendete ad esempio un brano come Torn again: è una song elettronica stratosferica, easy listening, quasi di cellulosa e molto, molto riecheggiante, per l’appunto, Fatboy Slim oppure Moby; stesso discorso per Subconscience Function, capace di rimanere in testa per ore, con un arrangiamento lineare ma davvero contagioso.
L’altra faccia della medaglia, l’altra parte di Giano bifronte, è caratterizzata da brani molto più crudi, veloci e violenti, come Sheep of sad fate, Beehive (squisitamente Trentreznorniano!), mentre To a somber place e la title track sono indubbiamente orientate verso un sound ancorato al death metal, anche se proprio Trilobeth, a ben vedere, rappresenta una sorta di delirio, ossimoricamente cristallino nella sua intenzione.
Ribadisco il fatto che, nonostante i salti di genere e l’apparente mancanza di coerenza tra un brano e l’altro, un filo conduttore tuttavia c’è.
Al di là della già citata bravura compositiva, gli Umbah puntano infatti anche sulle lyrics, ad opera di Sokaris, Suleiman e Shamanek: paranoia, ribellione al conformismo, inquietudine, a metà tra James Ballard e Pigreco-Il teorema del delirio o Eraserhaed di Lynch.
Un album da avere.

[85 out of 100]

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ROCK HARD ITALY
Review by Alessio Oriani

Gli Umbah sono il progetto solista di Cal Scott, formato all'indomani dello scioglimento degli storici Necrosanct nei primi anni '90. Da lì in poi, Cal è andato avanti occupandosi di tutti gli strumenti e con l'ausilio di una drum machine ha già sfornato una dozzina di album autroprodotti, di cui Trilobeth è cronologicamente il penultimo. Lo stile è un mix altamente dissonante tra avantgarde death e black metal, industrial ed elettronica, che può essere paragonato ad una miscela che - tra i tanti - include i Dodheimsgard di 666 International, i Thorns, i Satyricon di Rebel Extravaganza, gli Angst Skvadron, i Berzerker dei primi lavori, i Gorguts di Obscura, i Samael di Passage ed i Voivod del periodo più alieno e sperimentale. L'appoccio risponde ad un puro individualismo senza limiti, sulla scia degli Oxyplegatz di Alf Svensson (ex At The Gates), dello Special Defects di Fredrik Thordendal (Mehuggah) o di Sacrifist dei Praxis (l'accoppiata Bill Laswell/Buckethead), concatenando sperimentazioni in ogni direzione e commistioni inedite tra generi, unite ad un concept ed atmosfere cibernetiche. Un delirio di onnipotenza caotico e dispersivo, ma senza dubbio interessante, che purtroppo soffre per una produzione inadeguata a tale varietà stilistica.
[7 out of 10] [April 2010 issue]

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HARDSOUNDS.IT
Review by Francesco La Tegola

Sembra una legge matematica: meno prestigioso e danaroso è il label, più è alta la qualità, o quantomeno l'originalità. Nel caso degli Umbah, che l'etichetta e la produzione nemmeno ce l'hanno, sentitevi autorizzati a ragionare per transitività. Definire eclettica la proposta del one man band britannico sarebbe riduttivo, come lo è la stessa autodefinizione "cyber grind". In realtà non è un unico stile a dominare in 'Trilobeth', che è capace di offrire piccole perle di elettronica a là Fatboy Slim come "Subconscience Function" o "Torn Again" per poi passare a cose come "Beryllium Crisis", che fanno inevitabilmente pensare ai Nine Inch Nails ma in particolare alla loro creatura più famosa, Marilyn Manson. Il mood, le linee vocali e i samples mansoniani li ritroviamo anche nella marziale“Beehive”, mentre per il resto del disco si viaggia piuttosto spediti con il Death/industrial di Cal Scott, scleri dello stesso permettendo (la title track per esempio). In generale, possiamo dire che il sound della prolifica band è un tuffo nella fantasia elettronica (e malata) di Scott, che non riesce a restare nemmeno per trenta secondi di fila nei confini del tradizionale, che sembra aver scatenato un violentissimo cyborg che si è avventato nelle carni di un metallaro in carne ed ossa, lacerandolo in parte per poi incastonarcisi e formare un unico essere metà uomo metà macchina. Non siamo a conoscenza del passato e del presente della band (questo disco risale al 2007, intanto ne hanno pubblicato un altro) però un album come 'Trilobeth' non lo si può ignorare assolutamente. Puro delirio elettronico.
[80 out of 100]

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FUNERALRAIN.NET
Review by Dustin Ekman

This is some kind of strange. It’s death metal, but it’s also so much more. There’s electronic elements, black metal, nü-metal, Tool-esq moments and time changes, and wicked riffs all over the place. It’s a smorgasbord of everything there is to listen to in the metal world. It’s just so fucked up that I can’t help but listen to it over and over, and still I’m finding new things inside that I never heard before. If you love the avant-garde, industrial metal, or just strange shit, give Umbah’s new ODD-yssey Trilobeth a listen.
[9 out of 10]

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SOLAR IPSE
[solaripse.blogspot.com]

Review by Loris

Archiviata l’esperienza Necrosanct, Cal Scott decide di fare tutto da solo: aziona una drum machine e suona lui il resto degli strumenti. Non è dato sapere se questa scelta sia un modo di vivere la musica senza mediazioni o una semplice necessità pratica, certo è che “Trilobeth” tiene desta l’attenzione fino all’ultima traccia. Strutturato a ridosso di traiettorie ferali care ai Dodheimsgard, l’album conduce attraverso nebbie industrial, arricchendosi di quel sinfonismo imperioso che espleta la vera natura del progetto: un raggelante climax futuribile in cui l’ateismo di tutti i colori è la regola per non soccombere… Musica di ampie vedute, o meglio, vero spirito di ricerca interdisciplinare. Un altro bel colpo portato a segno dalla giovane I, Voidhanger records. Avant(i) così!

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RUMORE
[June 2010]
Review by Stefano Cerati

Che ci crediate o no gli Umbah del polistrumentista inglese Cal Scott sono al tredicesimo album con Trilobeth, avendone pubblicato uno quasi ogni anno dal 1996. Difficile descrivere la proposta del nostro. E’ un death grind in salsa industrial. Chitarre sporche e sature si attorcigliano a spirali elettroniche feroci ed apparentemente caotiche ed una voce simil Marilyn Manson in acido. In quest’album si mischiano i suoni radicali di certa techno hardcore con i riff più ringhianti e sozzi del metal. E’ musica astratta fatta quasi di detriti sonori, ma con un suo filo logico ed anche linee melodiche e perfino ballabili. Ricorda certo crossover tra il mondo elettronico e quello metal degli anni 90 (KMFDM, Pitchshifter, Atari Teenage Riot), ma alla base c’è uno spirito punk libero ed anarchico
[7 out of 10]

 

      

UMBAH : INTERVIEWS



AVANTGARDE-METAL.COM
Interview by Suleiman

Finally here is an interview with the insanity that is Umbah aka Cal Scott. This man is single handedly pushing industrial-cyber extreme metal into new and strange realms with each new release, all without proper distribution. Therefore he remains very much a true underground phenomena, not to mention completely DIY in action and philosophy. So open your ears, eyes and mind to the sound of the beyond.

When did you start mangling the axe (playing guitar)?
I was 15 and picked up a homemade sharkfin.

What were the main forces behind Necrosanct's breakup ?
The rhythm guitarist left then we carried on for a while as a 3 piece but it had lost its momentum so it just wound up.

What was the original idea behind Umbah's inception?
After recording some riff ideas to a mates drum machine I just thought that is a cool thing to do. So I got a 4 track and just started. It was different from being in a band, it was more rewarding. With every new track I discovered I could do something better and different, things that a real band couldn't do. So the idea behind it was to see where that could go.I was and still am very curious to find out.

Inspirations for Umbah?
All the mysteries, complexities and weirdness and insanity of life.

What convinced you to go the DIY route, instead of the standard studio/label contract and distribution shebang?
Never had money for studio time for Umbah so the default route is DIY. Anyway I prefer recording alone when I have a good head on. Of course having a label and distribution would be great, cause more people would listen.

Who is / are the primary influence(s) in your guitar playing?
Originally inspired by the old deathmetal scene, but when started listening to guys like King Crimson and Mahavishnu it opened my eyes to other awesome styles.

Your all time favourite bands and artists?
So many including Cynic, Meshuggah, Suffocation, Gorguts, Ulver, Roni Size and some weird classical shit aswell.

Your current play list favorites?
Monstrosity, Dillinger Escape Plan, Origin, Morbid Angel.

What does Umbah recording rig consist of?
I have been using a Sharkfin guitar, and now have the old bass guitar from Microcosm... cheers Ben. Also a fantastic Digitech GSP2101 guitar preamp. But have been experimenting with some GuitarRig for the last few tracks. I used a Rode NT2 mic for vocals on most Umbah tracks.
Always record with AcidPro these days. I used it since V1 now its on V6 so I know it inside out, its got rewire capabilities so now I can run softsynths and drumsoftware inside Acid, a true symbiosis. And the various fx come from either plugins or a rather fine ChaossPad II.

Is playing live ever going to be an option with Umbah?
That would be total dream... can you imagine. If I could find the right drummer and bassist I would love to, but so far not been that lucky.

Where do the gothic overtones in Umbah come from i.e is Bauhaus or Killing Joke responsible for inspiring some of this?
Not sure really cause I never had much gothic in my collection, Tristania are good, and I liked some of The Fields of Nephlim stuff (the cover of Elysium does weird things to my head), and also had a cool Killing joke tape once.

What does the future hold for Umbah?
...a journey into new worlds, imagine what it will sound like in 10 years time, I guess I have to continue or we'll never find out.

Any chance of more conventional distribution, because this sound deserves to be heard by as many as possible?
Err.. Its something I have not really looked into yet, and I do no promotion/distribution so i guess its no surprise Umbah is a complete unknown.

What is the idea behind Microcosm and are their any other projects underway?
Microcosm was a 3 piece group back in the mid nineties, I played guitar and did vocals. It was one of those cool rare vibes, we played with no rules. Did some gigs and after one demo we moved to different places so it finished. Live stuff is always a laugh so I always have side projects with mates, at the moment I play drums in a more psychedelic band and play guitar for a local hardcore band. Also engineer some demos each year for local bands for a bit of fun.

What is your view of the current metal scene and the future?
Theres always a lot of bands I keep discovering fresh music and dont see that ever changing.

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METALLIZED.IT
Interview by Lynda Giacomello

In Italian

In English:

I’ve listened to Umbah’s new work and I’ve found it extremely interesting. It really, I mean, catched me unprepared and drag me into it. How long it took for you? And which is your working way?
Tha'ts great you got into it. Although Trilobeth will surely be interesting on first listen it won't be obvious at first, but that's the way I design the music, I try make albums that can be explored, and then unfold, they will mean more and more to the listener over many years. Trilobeth took a long time to write and record, and it might sound ridiculous but it took thousands of hours to complete over a two year period, between 2007-  2008 there is a lot involved, but its worth the effort.
I have insomnia so I work late at night when the world around me goes to sleep, and as you might expect Umbah's writing and recording way are extremely different compared to the conventional bands recording methods. Normally bands set up a single sound for bass, drums, guitar and vocals, then use these settings on every track.... then they record drums live as a group, then overdub guitars, bass and lastly do vocals and lead guitars .... well that's not what i do ever.  Its a much more of a sculptural type of process, continual refinements and experimentation as i go along.  Each and every Umbah track starts from zero and there's no single way, no standard guitar settings  or templates, i will use completely different instrument sounds, tunings and pitches, programs, tempos, timings, synths, plug-ins and even fractal generators. When all mangled together eventually from this chaos emerges a  song. . All this takes an album much longer to make but in the end it does gives each track its own unique character.
As an example to make a track perhaps i will record hundreds of random guitar phrases and tap in drum ideas, then use these as jigsaw pieces, or sometimes i will compose riffs out of single notes i sample. Umbah has a lot of midi involved aswell so sometimes i will play in a bass line via midi guitar or synth, then build guitars on top after. Sometimes i improvise,  and often i still write songs the traditional way.  But its always more fun trying to push the boundary and do things that have never been done, for example i enjoy the method of using luck and chance accidents to generate spontanious new ideas. Also a certain proportion of the ways in which i  create an album have more in common with the techniques used by electronic musicians not metal bands. Its a truly organic hybrid of the analog and technological worlds.

I mean, you started with an audiovisual suggestion otherwise your working way is more..handmade?Sometimes I did have the impression you used to watch a lot of movies in order to..create your works!
Handmade, sure Umbah is entirely  recorded at home on a very basic setup. I never have any money so all my gear like guitars, microphone and mixer are  very old now, i use the same BC Rich Warlock that recorded Necrosancts 'Incarnate' album in 1991. I did get a microkorg synth a few years ago and finally got a bass guitar again recently. I always try upgrade CPU power cause that makes a vast difference to the speed that i can work at.  Finally with the arrival of multi-cores there's much more stability and not much waiting around, infact if it wasn't for the curse of a day job it could be possible to make a new Umbah album in under 6 months. But at the end of the day its the learning and experience that count far more than the equipment, Trilobeth demonstrates what you can do with just a basic setup
....and yeah movies are great, can be good for inspiration, but i rarely watch them, they seem to activate a switch in my mind and make me very passive, turns me into a zombie, no good for making music.

In which way you have been able to mix such different inspirations such as Katatonia, Underworld? And which are your other muses?
I guess there's many different inspirations, i listen to more than one style of music depending on mood, mostly metal, but the right type of prog, electronic and classical are good aswell. There are many great new and old  bands who continue raising the bar and playing faster and more precise and technical with great productions, but most lack that other dimension and character i seek. And of course i still enjoy all the classic deathmetal bands from the early nineties from Sweden or those from Florida with the good old Scott Burns production.

Let me know if Trilobeth has only one train of thought or how many?
There are many trains of thought involved. Keen listeners of Umbah may have already observed that as a musician i have a certain multiplicity ...these inner dimensions all think differently and contribute at different stages to the music. Its all about balance and evolving these individual thought dimensions through a symbiosis to create something greater than would be otherwise possible. and it works...Umbah could not exist without them.... for example one will tune into to the world of magic and spirit, one will be very clinical, one will compose, the next perform, one will be guru like and guide the way, one will trigger chaos and insanity, the next will be calm and create order, etc...they all play important roles and when combined  together they create a band inside of me. To me its quite comical  when people describe Umbah as a one man band, they couldn't be more wrong.
As for Trilobeth, its inspired, as suggested in the title by Trilobites cause they are just cool ...and Macbeth... its just stuff  i was reading at the time, neither are related... but they are now. And being a Highlander from Scotland with Celtic ancestors, all that history and the tragedy of my nation strikes a chord inside of me.

In your opinion, which is the best song? And why?
Difficult question... they are all great so not sure if i have a favourite,  the most fun to do was Girl from Mars, all those vocoders and synths...so far out... i was grinning all the way on that one. In the end perhaps Trilobeth is a favourite, its just so crazy

You did tour in order to support Trilobeth publishing or not?
No, no tour for Umbah

Which International artist (and I mean, not only musicians) mainly involve you?
Trilobeth had several contributions like a couple a drum beats and phrases by Dodd and some lyrics by Sokaris, both from an American band  Heritech.  Also a dude from Pakistan called Sulieman who has a project called Burzukh wrote some lyrics. Its normal that i make a request for lyrics for each album, that's the main thing i struggle with. On past albums there has been many lyrical contributors from all round the globe and often they are not musicians. 
Also separate from Umbah i have simultaneously played in many bands most well known being Necrosanct,  but also worth checking out is the Microcosm demo. Also i have  written  and recorded music with every musician i ever met, at least 20. Most have been guitarists and singers so i do the rest and engineer the recording. I keep an open mind and adapt to whatever their vision is,  so as unlikely as it sounds i have made electronic stuff , reggae, acoustic, classical,  grunge, comedy and even a few pop songs!
Recently i have been lucky to be friends with some real pro prog musicians from the 70's, i have been trying to encourage them to collaborate with me on Umbah. Its not going to be easy cause when within a group of people i am the shy guy in the corner who doesn't speak, its not in my nature to be a leader. These types of accomplished players are purely analogue in thinking, and although they are very complimentary when they hear what i do with Umbah they don't understand the alien way in which i make music and are slightly put off a bit by the extremity and the heaviness.  They seem to need a room full of amps and drums and microphones in order to perform. We have been jamming regularly  and its been awesome so far, a really good experience in which i have learnt a huge amount. But ideally one day  i would like to bring them to my studio and try to merge them into the more technological way that i operate, then if its successful it will surely add yet another fantastic dimension for Umbah.

What about Italy?
That's where everything is based, the label I-Voidhanger and the distributor ATMF are both Italian. These guys have been great in supporting Umbah and other obscure underground bands.

In which Country you mainly prefer to perform? It depends on the atmosphere or fans?
Like i said never played live yet with Umbah....

Let me know Umbah’s artistic history.
Well the beginnings of Umbah are old, started bizarrely when i got a 4track recorder in 1989,  i had saved up months of  wages from my pot washing job then on the way back from the music shop  i left it on the seat at the train station, and unbelievably someone handed in to lost property! Eventually got it home and  Umbah was born and I started  immediately recording songs even without a drum machine,  i just banged sticks on  tables and used coins in my pocket as hihats!
Being entirely self taught it was a few  years to discover how to make those first tracks i made as demo's in the early 90's. They were very raw, but even back then the ideas were cool..... then with Continuum in 1996 it really began... album by album 10 more pass by.  I would encourage anyone to listen to them all at some point, cause there is some real gems hidden away. Most older albums don't benefit from a great sound due to the DIY nature of the recordings, there are many errors and because of the experimentation involved there are many bits that didn't quite work but if you listen beyond then you will be rewarded i promise.
Its actually weird cause until the release of Trilobeth nobody ever listened, perhaps because Umbah is not a band very few people will ever pay attention. But i will always continue regardless and it does not concern me because i like it and enjoy making albums for myself.
I self-released Aradrolos last year 2009, which has unfortunately been completely ignored, i couldn't find a label, and despite over 30 requests to various metal sites and blogs no one has done a review. So even with the label release of Trilobeth,  its apparently going to continue being a very slow process getting any sort of recognition for Umbah. I guess the world is just too swamped with bands these days.
Currently i am finishing the next Umbah release, again no luck so far finding a label, but i will upload it to the website as usual  before the end of 2010. I always think every new album is my best yet, and that is true of this one, its sounding really good, pushed the level up a few notches again on the production. Musically its the best i have ever played. There is a vast variety throughout  and its still very experimental but it may be slightly more listenable in some places, but mainly its the usual complex  mix  of grind, death, industrial and electronic sprinkled here and there with some jazzy and classical elements.

Who’s beyond the album covers? I’ve really found so incredible and weird too!
I make them as well, I love doing art as much as music.

Ok, now it’s time for you to say hello to Umbah fans.
hello everyone....thank you for the support and for listening.

 

      

LINKS



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