Sonus Umbra | Digging For Zeros

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Rock: Progressive Rock Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Digging For Zeros

by Sonus Umbra

Dark, heavy, symphonic shadows made of sound.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Zero
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2:03 $0.99
2. Scream
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2:53 $0.99
3. Sleepwalkers
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2:16 $0.99
4. Children Of Cain
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0:53 $0.99
5. The Laughter Of The Dead
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2:08 $0.99
6. Foreshadows
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2:13 $0.99
7. Invisible World
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4:44 $0.99
8. Serial Grounds
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1:46 $0.99
9. Infestation
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7:09 $0.99
10. Spleen
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2:54 $0.99
11. Bloodstains In Paradise
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5:59 $0.99
12. Meme Puppet Waltz
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3:12 $0.99
13. Dead Numbers
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1:53 $0.99
14. Devil's Promise
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1:52 $0.99
15. Aleph
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3:28 $0.99
16. The Great Fall Inwards
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4:57 $0.99
17. The Music Of The Primes
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4:26 $0.99
18. From The Ashes
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0:54 $0.99
19. Pariah
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3:26 $0.99
20. Infinity
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2:10 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
New studio album, following the critically acclaimed 2003 release "Spiritual Vertigo".

Here is what the critics had to say:


Prolusion. "Digging for Zeros" is the third album by the Mexicano American band SONUS UMBRA, following "A Spiritual Vertigo" (2003) and "Snapshot from Limbo" (2000). Some changes have touched the group's personnel, which was stable until now. Original vocalist Andres Aullet has quit. Jeff Laramee appears now as drummer and lead singer rolled into one. Female singer Lisa Francis has become a staff member. In addition, there are two novices in the lineup (which, thus, has transformed from a quartet into a sextet): Pablo Garcia on keyboards and Andy Tillotson, who now shares the duties of lead guitar player with Ricardo Gomez. As ever, bassist / multi-instrumentalist Luis Nasser has penned most of the music and lyrics for the new album, too. Kindred band: Kurgan's Bane. Relatively related band: Might Could.

Analysis. Here is one more concept suite-like album (third in this review series), coming with no pauses between its 20 tracks. Stylistically, there are not many differences between "Digging for Zeros" and Sonus Umbra's previous two output, but nevertheless, "Snapshot from Limbo" and "A Spiritual Vertigo" have more common ground between themselves than with the new album. While bass, electric and acoustic guitars still retain their lead positions in the arrangements, as ever, the overall sound has acquired a more pronounced symphonic sense, which is certainly due to the appearance of a free keyboardist. But since Garcia gives more preference to piano than to synthesizers, the trademark Sonus Umbra sound, representing a well-balanced combination of beauty and intricacy with an amazing sense of fragility, remains prevalent and is especially striking in the sections built without the use of big guns, e.g. guitar riffs and harsh textures in general. The acoustic guitar and piano-laden Sleepwalkers, Children of Cain (both with Lisa behind the microphone), Meme Puppet Waltz and Infinity, the latter two being instrumental pieces, are fully devoid of heaviness, referring to the purely Art-Rock sector of the band's overall style. The Great Fall Inwards, Bloodstains in Paradise The Music of the Primes and Pariah, sung either by Lisa alone or together with Jeff (on the latter two), are structurally similar, but there also are distinct elements of heavy Prog in places. Still Lisa's, The Laughter of the Dead and Dead Numbers are mainly intense, the music moving back and forth between symphonic Art-Rock and Cathedral Metal. Some episodes of that very fragile beauty can also be found on each of the remaining five tracks belonging to Sonus Umbra's traditional stylistic spectrum. Overall however, these (Scream, Invisible World, Infestation, Spleen and Aleph) are the heaviest tracks on the album. Sung by Jeff, they reveal the most aggressive intonations of his pretty flexible vocals. Four more tracks still need to be described: Devil's Promise, Zero, Serial Grounds and Foreshadows, the latter three being instrumentals. The music is very atypical for Sonus Umbra and is either Space Rock resembling to The Alan Parsons Project, as on the first two, or just space music, Foreshadows consisting mainly of various naturalistic effects (steps, beating the glass, etc) and people's voices.

Conclusion. From album to album, Sonus Umbra slowly, yet, steadily improves the quality of their musical production, and I am certain that their latest is their best effort to date. Highly recommended. If the two space music-related instrumental sketches weren't included in the CD, I would have rated it as a complete masterpiece, with the addition of an exclamation mark.

VM: January 12, 2006
Progressor.net


Reviews


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Kathleen Orrson

Sonus Umbra's masterpiece
I have always admired Luis Nasser's basework with several bands. But here he really shows off his songwriting skills with his main project Sonus Umbra. Get the CD to enjoy the lyrical story in the booklet.
Jeff Laramee and now Lisa Francis are an improvement in vocalists. Garcia's use of occasional piano than usual synths give more of a contrast to the pounding bass and souring electric guitars. Great use of acoustic guitars that mesh with Francis's vocals.

Murat Batmaz - Sea of Tranquility


Sonus Umbra is back with another winner. This band has yet to disappoint me. Whatever they release turns out to be an instant favourite of mine, and Digging for Zeros is no exception. Despite the departure of their unique vocalist Andres Aullet, which this album is dedicated to, they continue to write and record solid music. The band has enlisted the services of drummer Jeff Laramee who does a great job with a powerful delivery. Laramee shares the vocal duties with female vocalist Lisa Francis of Kurgan's Bane. Their roles in Sonus Umbra are quite different though, as Digging for Zeros embarks upon a dark progressive rock sound, punctuated with delicate acoustic arpeggios, daunting synth work, flickering electric guitar leads, and Luis Nasser's outstanding work of rhythm on bass. 2005 has been a great year for Nasser, as he first appeared on Might Could's instrumental album earlier in the summer, then on the new Kurgan's Bane record, and now his main band Sonus Umbra. Luis Nasser, besides being the main songwriter, is the absolute master of beat and pulse. His bass sound is always audible, throbbing loudly and generating dense sounds throughout. (Click link above to read more...)