Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ur Draugr -" With Hunger Undying"

Suppose blackened death metal is the most fitting title to bestow upon this Australian band. They are dark and manage to weave atmosphere into the blasting double bass and echoed out screams. The first groove etched into the riff doesn't appear until the beginning of " Seeds Sown In Famine".  They don't hang on it too long before going into a more angular heavier passage, but show enough restraint to build it organically rather than forcing it into place with a blast beat. They wait to turn to speed on " Rise of the Thaumaturge". They lose me a little in the storm of chaos, which is heavy but doesn't make a much sense in terms of the journey this song is supposed to take you on.

They back way off from the heaviness of the previous song when they head into  the acoustic based interlude" Solace Within Torpor", before attacking some more straight ahead chugging metal. These guys do not write sprawling sixteen minutes , but manage to organize their intentions into a more standard song length. "Cult of the Greatwurm" just kind of falls out of the previous song, so they hit a place midway in where the album becomes rather dense. This broken up with some muted chugs here and there. "Lethe Drinker" is an interlude where  the bass lays down the melody and wanders over the dark atmosphere before they throw themselves into the title track that closes out the album.

The title track hangs on an angular chug as a trickle of double bass runs beneath it. The vocals take on a renewed anger to their snarl. For the almost progressive nature of what these guys do there is a surprising lack of clean vocals on this album, but  I think it actually plays to their favor. If they had thrown them in it would have killed the momentum some of these songs had built off the ore agonized roars that howl like the wind rushing through the album. Things like the chug they build  at the midway point of the title track might have stood out a little more but the compromise would ultimately not play to the band's favor. Coming from me  a big proponent of actual singing this says a lot about the sound these guys have made for themselves.  There is no urge to bring up the fact that they sound like another band because you could go digging for their influences, they have put all the piece together to create their own identity. Thats not to say this is the most original album of the year, but they have locked into something that works I'll give it an 8.


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