Release DetailsLABEL Ledo Takas Records
RELEASED ON 4/30/2006
posted on 7/2006 By:
I generally enjoy all of Ledo Takas Records' releases, home to one of my favorite pagan bands Obtest, as their quality over quantity mantra holds true for their albums. However, after giving Latvia’s self described ‘tribal black metal’ band Urskumug considerable time to sink in, I came to the conclusion that Urskumug is Ledo’s weakest release in quite some time.
Am Nodr, isn’t a bad record per say, it's just a rather generic pagan black metal record that injects some really awkward tribal, programmed electronic injections, and it just does not work. Things go pear shaped right away for industrial opener “2012" and in the middle of the promisingly blazing “Time of The Jackdaw” where some solid Norwegian black metal is rudely littered with piercing droning. Just from looking at the cover and title like “Beowolf”, “The Guardian”, “Mother of Halfworld”, you’d think Urskumug would parley their black vision into epic, pagan drenched ferocity, but instead, the band's confused semi industrial tones clash awkwardly with more traditional black heathenry. I’m fine with black metal and industrial metal mixing, but pagan black metal and industrial/electronics don’t seem suited as genre bed mates.
After the overly long “Time of the Jackdaw”, “Beowolf” has a more Eastern European black metal, traditional sound for its entirety, while the annoying staccato screech and robotic discordance of the unnamed fourth track wipes away anything I enjoyed in “Beowolf”. “Talking As a Shaman’s Son” has a bit of a death metal lean, but again random stuff; (5:10) for no reason, derails the track for no reason. On the opposite end of the spectrum, “Guardian” with its wise old man talking intro, is pure pagan black metal. For a band describing themself as ‘tribal’ black metal, it's sort of odd that the only tribal element is a brief section of the death metal vocalized title track.
Urskumug are a confused band, not sure what style they are playing - the thing is it sounds like they have the chops to play decent, scathing paganized black metal as “Mother of Halfworld” displays, but the band's annoying electric/programmed tinkering needs to either go or be fulled embraced as a complete cyber-black metal band, as this whole Vikings with lasers things isn’t quite doing it for me.
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