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Fantastic but familiar - 76%

Cosmic Mystery, May 15th, 2018

Urushdaur is the symphonic version of Behemoth's early and mid era music (Demigod and Satanica). Its done very well has very good technical drumming and is jam-packed with ravenous vocals. The music is awesome and given the well done vocals, drumming patterns and the added symphonic effect (excessive as with Dimmu Borgir's), Urushdaur turned out to be a fantastic but all too familiar listening experience. It is 36 minutes in length and is filled with excellent drumming, crisp vocals, loud keyboards, and symphonies. it's strange to actually discover a band that has such a precise and almost tributary sound that one may accidentally deem as Behemoth. Anyone who is unaware of Mortuorial Eclipses' existence can easily be misled into thinking that Urushdaur is a release by Behemoth simply by hearing the 2nd track "Ruin Empire". Had the excessive symphonies not been present on the album it would have been extremely difficult to distinguish between the two bands.

"Ophis Martys" is probably the most diverse track on the album. It has the symphonic elements but also has a very melodic tone. "Ophis Martys" has a very epic sound to it; it also showcases a more angry side of the vocal delivery. "The Cult of Carnal Disarray" is another one of those tracks that emphasize strongly on the orchestral element of the music; and is one of the more Dimmu Borgir sounding recordings. The closing track "Edge of the Dark Portent" is a beautiful instrumental that holds the resemblance to something you may hear by Cradle of Filth.

My biggest problem with Urushdaur is that the symphonic elements totally drown whatever guitar riffing is there to be heard. The symphonic/orchestral music was either mixed too high, or the guitars were mixed too low, hence, the problem seems to be leaning towards the orchestral side; however, it is a major downfall of the album given that this is metal and metal is heavily dependent on riffs. If the listener cannot pick up on the guitar notes, then its lacking sound may easily make him/her reluctant towards any given band's material. The orchestral stuff was nice to hear but it should not have been mixed higher than the guitars, it should have only served as a compliment to the rest of the music. Apart from the inaudible guitars, there exists the identity factor which is substantially important where metal is concerned. There are too many bands that have copied others in the past; some did do a good job, but the fact remains that the listener usually would like to pinpoint your band's originality when playing the music gifted with. The added symphonic element creates an air of contrasting atmospheres depending on the song formation, however; it's over mixing and overuse negatively impacted the guitar audibility. The drumming patterns and vocals sound way too similar to that of Behemoths. Not taking anything away from the drummer's technical skill and vocalists' ability to replicate Nergal's barks, but in order to stand out and avoid being lost within the metal sea filled with so many sharks, identity should be an integral characteristic of any band. Though it would be unfair for me to advise the vocalist to alter his style thus damaging comfort, I suggest bringing the guitars more to the front of the music which may give rise to the band's true identity thus breaking away from the Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth soundscapes. Urushdaur is still an above average album but suffers from originality.