Sunday, September 23, 2007

Entire UMBAH Dicorgraphy plus interveiw!!!

The complete UMBAH discography is available for free download here

This is some of the sickest industrial death / grind you will ever listen too...seriously it is the shows lame bands like Bezerker and Mortician what can really be done with an axe and a drum machine.....This guys riff / lead work ánd songwriting prowness has to be heard to be believed.....

and heres an interveiw with guitarist/ soundscaper extraordinaire Cal Scott (by yours truly) :

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.
Last but not least the ever helpful Cal has uploaded the complete Umbah discography of the last 10 years in mp3 format on his website. Run now to the site to get the goodies. This is music to disintegrate in hyperspace, and its yours now for FREE.Truly an icon making music for art's sake. Respect.

Some Reviews

since i started posting reviews on :

i thought it would be a good idea to have them here as well...

Release: 2007 Label: Self Released
Avantgenre: Post-Drone Narcotic Space Rock
Origin: Pakistan / USA
Official site:

The first album proper (self released that is) from a meeting of young yet prodigously talented minds, this is indeed as avant garde as they come. Starting with a backward guitar melody that morphs ito the opener "In a Garden", here is some seriously eerie and trippy music. It is essentially Saqib Malik's soundscapes and strange textures married to Howard Eichenblatt's stream of consiousness poetry. From the opener onwards, the agenda gradually unfolds to demonstrate reverb laden guitars and drums, creepy drones, disturbing samples all topped by vocals recalling a teenage Morrison on crack. Reference points touched upon include modern drone masters (Sunno, Boris et al) to indie (old Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground) to experimental black metal (Blut Aus Nord), but without resembling any one band or genre. The production is intentionally lo-fi, keeping clarity of instruments and vocals without sounding immediate at all.Infact, the mixing of the distant reverb laden sound with the odd lyrical and vocal gist makes this the very epitome of narcotic post rock/metal. Thankfully this completely avoids the Grateful Dead-with-Distortion structuring or the chugga-chugga generic chunks of many post-metal luminaries. Instead it delves into the underside of rock (and no I don't mean the sleazy redneck kind either), and comes up all aces. Very occasional touches of a more extreme metallic element (witness "At Dusk We Returned" and "Dark Language") show metalheads swimming somewhere in the murk.This is cosmic music but its the very anti-thesis of what "cosmic" usually means when applied to metal. Instead of rage and pomp this is the moan of a feeble, drugged out and decaying cosmos. Honestly speaking, after the first 6 tracks I lost conventional conciousness and was floating away blissfully on a narcotic cloud. And I have not used any mind-altering substances in a long time.This is to post rock and metal what Radiohead's Kid A was to modern indie pop rock. I am scared of thinking what these guys would do with a bigger budget and a slicker studio.

UMBAH _ 7 Days Of Horror
Release: 1999
Label: Self-Released
Avantgenre: Tech-Industrial Goth Grind Metal
Origin: UK
Official site:

The second release from the insanity that is Umbah, this is more of the same yet with a difference. There is distinct chunkiness in the riffing, aligning this release closer to the death/thrash camp. Some of the riffs here can cause a disjointed mosh (spastic zombie slam-dance!!!) to descend upon the listener unaware.Another notable difference is the more expansive and free-form lead work which now sounds like an unholy communion of Alan Holdsworth and Azathoth. The drums are also more pounding, resulting in a more aggressive sound (not unlike Ministry doing death metal in some sections, albeit a Ministry in the death-throes/seizures of a ketamine overdose.)The vocals are as sick as ever, but show definite confidence, while still being brilliantly manic (infact in places sounding like Maniac being buggered by Al Jougersen). There is also a slight dramatic edge to some of the vocal utterances (I would kill for a lyric sheet).Once again the album has a cohesive feel, with each song being a complete unique entity without relying at all on the same bag of tricks. A single song can run the gamut from thrash to death to black to industrial to gothic within minutes yet sound natural doing it. And Umbah has brilliant songwriting, vaguely churning within a cyber-grind context yet never catering to the cliches.The best bit here is that it all sounds disturbing and dark, even the ultra-fast spacier instrumental moments,coming across like a spaceship entering a cosmos populated enitrely by the elder ones.Hats off to Cal for continually being ground-breaking with each succesive album and managing to sound unlike any band you can think of. This is another stake through the heart of conventional metal mediocrity.

Release: 1997
Label: Century Media Records
Avantgenre: Industrial Thrash Power Metal
Origin: Canada / USA
Official site:
With this one it's hard to know where to begin. How about "the heaviest finest angriest slab of cyber metal ever”? This record came, conquered and remained on the throne. It pretty much defines what can be accomplished with the proper amalgamation of extreme metal and industrial music (along with Ministry and Red Harvest, of course).Opening with a flooring but short intro in "Velvet Kevorkian” which segues into the face-ripping "All Hail the New Flesh”, the record quickly and explosively establishes its sound and identity. The song that follows up the intensity another notch is the headbanging anthem "Oh My Fucking God”. Thrash (and some Death/Grind) riffage layered with all manners of samples and synths, backed by the rhythm section from hell (how can you go wrong with Gene Hoglan on drums?) races along, all topped off with some of the most original vocals in metal (Devin Townshend is a phenomena unto himself, going from tough guy vocals to screeches and screams to heart wrenching wails and singing, all in the same song and all suitably reverbed).It is a winning mix, especially when the brutality is contrasted by slower, more atmospheric and intensely emotional sections, where the synths, guitars and vocals make a strangely ambient melodic mix creating a wall-of-sound that became Devin’s trademark. Another ace of the band is the lyrical contact, which is angry and direct (to the point of almost being punk/hardcore) and clearly understandable, thanks to the amazing production job (courtesy of Devin himself, with engineering by Daniel of Meshuggah fame).All the songs here are killer, catchy and epic at the same time (something which is very hard to achieve). They flow seamlessly and the sequence makes perfect sense. As Devin has repeatedly stated in interviews, it is his catharsis and it shows. Many of the themes here are developed further on subsequent SYL and DTB releases, but none comes close to the sheer insanity of this record. The Cop Shoot Cop cover is a great choice and brings variety to the record, while still sounding like a SYL tune.All in all, this is one of the top metal releases of all time, and still sounds as refreshing and vibrant today as the day it was released. If you haven’t had the pleasure, pick it up today for a truly cerebral yet vicious metal experience.

Kings of Punk

Poison Idea - Feel the Darkness

Sums up nicely everything that was good about 1990's punk...
in other words : dark and heavy as fuck !!!!

enjoy fuckers !!!!

if you can check out their "record collector are assholes" release too

thanx to for this post and many many more