Umbrtka is a metal band from Plzeň, Czech Republic, founded in 2000. The band has quite a back catalogue (available at www.werewolfshop.cz) and describe their music, which incorporates black, doom, industrial metal elements and is influenced by Czech underground, as ´grey´ metal.
The main themes of their Czech language lyrics are deserted industrial areas, factories, power plants, railways, dirty streets, trains, and other industrial elements. Or as the band puts it, ´temples of labor´. The CD Ivo seems to be build around the fiction character Ivo Krátký, but unfortunately there´s no more to be found in the band info.
And you don´t really need to know more, the Czech language sounds exotic and enhances the impression of a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, avoiding well-trodden paths of mentioned musical genres. On their previous album "Kovovy haj" (to be recommended to all who seek the unusual), the band already gave the impression that the genre “Black Metal” is perhaps a bit to narrow in definition for them, I´d rather use “Progressive”: it starts with tender atmospheric sounds and clean vocals, a la Opeth/Pink Floyd, later growls are added and the whole thing gradually mutates into a bizarre epos, crowned by a weird 14min song Onen Večer.
In comparison with this Kovový Háj album, IVO sounds more mature, has a better defined “plot line” but still offers a wide range of musical elements – Folk and Pagan sounds, grooving Electro PopRock, sinister Industrial Black-Death; the use of clean and growl vocals is more balanced, and the band experiments with saxophone melodies and radio-play elements. Again one song seems like a weird miniature symphony: Pivo Ivo (not sure, but isn´t “pivo” the word for “beer”?) – the Punk-chorus even seems slightly parodistic…
There´s a lot of ear candy material, the production is good – but it´s definitely an album you cannot grasp just hearing it once. Doesn´t matter, it´s a pleasure to listen to such a CD more often.
Btw, there are guest vocals by Tomáš Kofroň, Trollech, and Frantisek Štorm, legendary MASTER´S HAMMER singer (together with ROOT one of the most influential and most creative bands of the early Black Metal scene).
Lord Morbivod - Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drum programming
Strastinen - Vocals, guitar, bass
Karl - Vocals, guitar
Well - Vocals, bass, grand piano