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I first came across Urgrund in the metal bargain bin at my local 2nd hand store about 7 years ago. I picked it up as I noticed it was on Killjoy’s Baphomet Record label, and figured it was probably worth a shot (well, compared to the horrific amount of ‘teased hair band’ and nu-garbage albums that it was sitting amongst anyway). As soon as I got the CD into my car stereo, I found out that thankfully the music on offer was far from bargain bin material.
Urgrund play a good and dirty brand of mainly mid-paced blackened thrash metal, chock full of fist punching riffage, molten vocal spews and clattering drum work. A few nods are understandably made towards the likes of fellow Aussies Destroyer 666 which, lets face it, can’t be a bad thing. Occasional the tempo is raised to mix things up, which is when the band end up sounding way more ‘black’ than ‘thrash’, but they usually end up dropping back into their mid-paced (dis)comfort zone to continue the belligerent war of ear attrition. The best word to describe this album is ‘commanding’, it really gets your neck snapping and hands contorting into the horns before you can say ‘holyfuckingshit’.
Whilst this is one of those albums where multiple spins pays off the most, the song writing is of good enough standard to have a reasonably immediate quality to it too. Authoritative and impulsive, this is well worth looking into for fans of the genre.
Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com
Album Title: The Graven Sign
This is the first full-length from Urgrund, an Australian band playing old-school Black Metal.
Most of the songs on "The Graven Sign" are mid-paced. The guitars are well played, mostly thrashing with a few solos. The drums are equally good, especially the use of cymbals which creates a very triumphant mood. Vocals are snarled, though they're quite understandable. This is a strong point of the album, especially when paired with the excellent lyrics. The songwriting in general is great - each song is unique and memorable, and nothing sounds overdone or cliche. This is the rare kind of album that you can listen to again and again.
This is a top-notch album, easily one of the best I've heard in the last few years. The lyrics are metal genius, and the music is pure old-school Australian madness. Any fan of Destroyer 666 or Gospel of the Horns should get this immediately.
Standout tracks: "Scourge (of God)", "War Elite", "Oskereien/Wildes Hunt"
Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net