Urn - Soul Destroyers
Dynamic Arts Records
Blackened Thrash
10 songs (46:28)
Release year: 2008
Dynamic Arts Records
Reviewed by Pete

I'm always a little dubious about albums whose press releases begin with the phrase, 'black/thrash pioneers are back', especially albums by bands I've never heard of. Even more so when the band's discography consists of three full length releases in their fourteen-year history, their first, 666 Megatons, being release seven years after the band got together. Of course this could just be the usual press release bunkum, but then again Urn could've been doing the underground circuit in Finland for many successful years before a release of theirs dropped through my door. Either way, for a band with over a decade of experience and possible 'pioneers', Soul Destroyers comes across as being a bit messy.

The artwork contained within the package consists of a goat in clad in gladiator gear and possibly a thong I can't quite tell. To check if this preposterous picture isn't the cover of Soul Destroyers I went to check on the Internet and couldn't find any trace of Urn from Finland. Urn from Chicago, yes, but Finland, no. For pioneers the building blocks don't look very convincing. I eventually stumbled onto their myspace page and with first impressions out of the way Lifeless Days kicked into gear on the stereo.

Within a couple of minutes you're transported back twenty years. At least Urn's claim of being 'old school metal hell' hits the nail on the head. Soul Destroyers has a production and feel of an album released in the mid eighties by acts such as Sodom, Sabbat and Venom. Credit where credit is due, Urn sound like an underground band unwilling to embrace contemporary styles of techniques. Occasionally this approach works. Black Steel Worship isn't bad at all and War And Victory has a good groove and build up. The title track is perhaps the strongest song on offer. Its seven minute run time gives it an epic feel and also an indication that a lot more thought had gone into this tune than any of the others.

It's the band's insistence to blast beat that spoils Soul Destroyers. The production doesn't really allow for coherent thrashing. An excellent beginning to Blood Of The Desecrators is ruined by an all out crash of sound. Granted, this is Urn's style but, as I've already mentioned, it makes the whole experience a little messy. The second half of the album is stronger than the first because the guitar riffs are of a higher standard. But with Sulpher's shouting over the top a lot of the ideas start to mush into one.

It's not that I didn't like Soul Destroyers I just think there are better examples of blackened thrash available at the moment. Having said that, if you think metal sounded better in the 80s then Urn might be a good investment of your time. They are a reminder of how underground metal acts used to be, and where would metal be without its underground element?

Killing Songs :
Black Steel, War And Victory, Soul Destroyers
Pete quoted 58 / 100
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