Umbra

Kadabra

A refreshing Space Rock/Stoner Rock act with catching melodies. It's a great work!
November 30, 2023

Sometimes the idea the fans have is that the new generations of fans discovered the works of bands as BLUE CHEER, HAWKWIND, COVEN, BLACK WIDOW, THE CREAM and other pre-Metal acts, those names that came taking influences from THE WHO, THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES and took them to extreme. It’s an idea that is clear due the number of acts using such old form of music today. Obviously some are just redoing what already exists, and then overload the scene to a point that’s hard to believe that something different can be born. But some acts are able to make fans believe that such thing is possible, as heard on “Umbra”, the new album of the North American quartet KADABRA. Hailing from Washington, the quartet plays a form of Space Rock/Psychedelic Rock that resembles a lot the days before BLACK SABBATH would summon darkness into the world (especially due the high level of technique used on bass guitar parts).

It’s full of massive groove and nasty - and catchy - melodies, and their music sounds mature, full of energy and with a different life pulsing on each song. It’s not hard to hear, understand and become in love with their musical work, indeed, but with a difference from their music to many others: the use of constant keyboards parts that are a fundamental feature of their music. “Umbra” was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dawson Scholz, who created an organic and raw sonority that one can believe that belongs to the past. On other hand, in between this filthy/organic sound quality, they use a defined outfit that enables the hearers’ understanding. It can be said that Dawson tried to find a way into the best of the both worlds, and the result is very good.

The quartet shows excellent instrumental parts mixed with melodic vocals, but the overall result sounds in a fuzzy way. And one can check it on moments as “High Priestess” (excellent charming melodies built upon very good arrangements, with bass guitar and drums guiding rhythms in an hypnotic way), “Midnight Hour” (this one is into a way full of that groove and lysergic elements that influenced BLACK SABBATH on its beginning), “The Serpent” (a fuzzy dose of Blues can be heard on the mix along with a somber ambience with fine keyboards moments), “The Devil” (that follows the tendency of the previous song, but with more defined arrangements on the guitars and excellent vocals), and “Mountain Tamer”. But all the songs are very good, indeed.

“Umbra” can stated KADABRA’s name as one of the finest into the scene, so take it and go into a lysergic voyage.

8 / 10

Excellent

Songwritting

9

Musicianship

8

Memorability

8

Production

8
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"Umbra" Track-listing:
  1. White Willows
  2. High Priestess
  3. Midnight Hour
  4. The Serpent
  5. The Devil
  6. Battle of Avalon
  7. Mountain Tamer
  8. The Serpent II
Kadabra Lineup:

Garrett Zanol - Guitars, Vocals
Ian Nelson - Bass
Blake Braley - Organs, Keyboards
Chase Howard - Drums, Percussion

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