Monday, July 22, 2024


Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are back and – brace yourselves – better than ever. 15 years into their illustrious and unique career, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have come out with what I am willing to call their magnum opus. The Cambridgeshire-based group have always been known for their doomy, underground-leaning sound in the metal scene. But now, they’ve turned the individuality up to 11 and are ready to envelope you into the most original and thematic album of the year thus far.

The track “Il Sole Sorge Sempre” kicks off the album. It sends my mind straight into the atmosphere and sights of a vintage Dario Argento film. This song is the perfect fuzzed-to-hell, moody soundtrack to a classic arthouse late 70’s, early 80’s thriller. I can practically see the slightly grainy shots, dynamic lighting, and tension building as the protagonist gets warped into a bizarre, dangerous world.

As Nell’ Ora Blu plays on, you can’t help but be swept away somewhere else. The album is a total vibe, evoking feelings of a complete other time and other place. The album is super slowly paced and completely unafraid to utilize classic instruments and soundscaping to blatantly take you out of the 21st century. Nell’ Ora Blu has an undeniable stroke of genius to it. It’s so intentional and well thought out. Mere trickles of modernity give it a refreshing signature sound, establishing Nell’ Ora Blu as an album only Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats could create.

When writing reviews, I always consider a few things: what this album would mean to long-time fans of a band, and what brand-new listeners might think of the band. As far as fans of the band are concerned, you’ll really enjoy this listen. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are evolving into their ‘final form’. It’s not as chunky or garage rock as their previous releases (Blood Lust being my favorite album by them thus far).

The direction of Nell’ Ora Blu is brilliant, leaning hard into the special elements that have previously defined them before – such as exploiting their affection of occult-like influence. For new fans, buckle up and prepared to be blown away that an album like this could come out in 2024. If you’re looking for rip-your-face-off metal, look elsewhere. This album is a piece of dedicated, focused art. If you listen as a metal fan, I hope you enjoy something completely different and way out of the ordinary.

“Il Tesoro Di Sardegna” (translated to “The Treasure of Sardinia”) feels like an aubade – or morning music played just for you. I can feel the warmth of the breaking sun on my skin, lost in the mire of my own thoughts while sipping down a cup of joe. It has beautiful little moments of softly meandering melodies – incorporating at times what sounds like a saxophone – that just lets your mind slip away. The ethereal “la la la’s” help cement this as a dreamy, semi-conscious track that harkens back to the psychedelia of the 1960’s.

Delving even deeper into the purgatory between awake and asleep is the title track “Nell’ Ora Blu”, or “The Blue Hour”. The whole album is a fantastic reflection of this concept, this song in particular. Blue is often affiliated with somberness, as ‘being blue’ is being sad. There is a bit of longing to the song, but I don’t find myself particularly morose listening to these tracks; rather I feel a bit introspective and otherworldly.

Nell’ Ora Blu mixes hyper traditional elements such as psychedelia and doom and presents them in a whole new way. The warbling synth and organ sounds lick the surface of psychedelia and introduces them as new ideas, both haunting and eerie while also being strangely familiar and recognizable. “Doom” and “subtle” aren’t usually paired together in the same sentence, but Nell’ Ora Blu creates fog-like doom – it creeps in on you and before you know it, you’re surrounded by it.

The idea of doom is not only evident in the very slight riffage throughout the album, but in the feeling it creates as the album plays on. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have managed to re-invent the wheel with this record – a rare, rare feat in 2024. I’m beyond impressed with each and every track off of the album – all 19 of them. There isn’t a dud in the bunch. You’ll be enamored and entirely transported with Nell’ Ora Blu. Give it a listen immediately.

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