Umberto is doing big things, and “Confrontations” is merely additional proof. He’s with the LA-based outfit, Not Not Fun Records, and after being spotted by Mogwai in Glasgow while touring, he was invited to All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2012. And he hasn’t looked back.
If you’re scared of the dark, you might want to pass this record up. It’s sheen, looming intensity, and pulsating demeanor is extremely enjoyable, even if you’re not entirely sure what awaits around the next corner. We’ve got a feeling this Kansas City native is going to be spending a lot of time traveling to far off destinations, where throngs are sure to buy their ticket and take the ride.
The album opens with “Night Fantasy,” building slowly and steadily, preparing the listener for each of the incredible tracks within. It’s spooky while still making you want to party, or at least go for a drive in the dark. “Confrontation” combines choirs and chants with bass and metal, creating a hypnotic blend of 2AM perfection. As it thumps and circles back on itself, you’re imparted with a feeling of peace; but the type of peace you feel when things have gone terribly wrong, and you’ve accepted your fate. Admittedly, you could lose yourself in this stuff, as ghostly sounds conjure images of an industrial district long since condemned and forgotten.
“Dead Silent Morning” is anything but, while synths cascade into ear as expanses open. By the time “The Summoning” begins, tempo decreases and the suspense returns. It’s a theme this record depends on, and which makes both the calm and the storm incredibly enjoyable. The other thing that attracts us, is that the lulls don’t coincide with the tracks themselves; each one contains the entire gamut, making the album feel cohesive. This is not a record for listening to a few tracks and moving on. It’s thematic, and feels like a film. As “The Invasion” concludes the record, a sense of culmination is certainly in the air (cover art not withstanding).
Whiplashes, expanding heartbeats, and alien landings are all mere descriptors, but once you listen for yourself, we think you might share our love for this musician. Bust out your best headphones for this one.