Urskumug - Am Nodr
Ledo Takas Records
Folkish Black Metal
8 songs (41.37)
Release year: 2006
Urskumug, Ledo Takas Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Latvian metal makes a breakthrough into my ears with Urskumug, one of the most inspiredly titled bands I’ve found in a long time. The omniscient forces of Wikipedia tell us that this is a name which represents the primordial mythago and the earliest stage of the so-called human character, depicted as a bear/boar-like creature, half-animal and half-human, in a cycle of mythopoetical fantasy fiction novels, written by the English author Robert Holdstock.

This mythical theme is evident in the music and poetry Urskumug put forth. It is largely pure Immortal-worship with trebling riffs and blast beats aplenty. Vocalist Krauklis does a mean Abbath-impersonation, sounding damn near perfectly similar to the Norwegian master of unholy BM-promo pictures. Some death-smelling growls are added to the mix in places, but the vocals are mostly throated speech. The band plays tightly throughout and pulls off some nice riffs, especially when the tempos allow them to play beyond tremoloed notes.

The spices that Urskumug uses for some variety come from the folk genre. Talking As A Shaman’s Son and the title track have a slight Finntroll-feel to them and benefit from a pint of ale while listening to them. Little tribal percussion moments and speech samples of ancient chanting make the band’s picture a bit more coloured, lifting this record above the average, plodding black metal-concoction.

The production is good enough for the album to be listenable throughout, although at times the trebliness of the guitars combined with the tinging drums make the soundscape messy, drowning out any possible hooks. Of course, we must be honest here. This type of music isn’t so much about the hooks and I don’t think I should be looking so badly for such things.

As a whole, Urskumugs’s Am Nodr is an interesting package of better-than-standard black metal that has the elements on which the band can really build their own sound. I’d like to see much more of the tribal, folky moments in favour of the constant blasting. Then we could be talking of something that would more likely return to my player after this sentence.

Killing Songs :
Talking As A Shaman's Son, Moth Of Halfworld
Aleksie quoted 62 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon May 28, 2007 7:03 pm
View and Post comments