Saturday, February 20, 2021

Crushed By Existence...

Urza - The Omniprescence of Loss (2019)


Yeah, so we're technically a couple of years behind on checking out this album, but we've got an excuse. The first physical release of this album will be happening next month, so if you think about it that way, we're actually ahead of things, yeah? In any event, this is the debut album from the German group Urza (a name some nerds in the audience no doubt recognize from a different context), and it's one steeped in funeral doom morbidity.

Opening track “Lost in Decline” is seventeen minutes long, to give you some idea of how things are gonna roll. Rising from bass drones to slow-stomping gloom, and passing through bridge after bridge, it delivers an atmosphere to make you straight-up shiver. Excellent winter music, and probably even better if you can somehow arrange yourself a listen in an underground crypt. The music is almost physically heavy, moving along on tank-tread riffs, and the vocals, deep and booming, are a fantastic fit.

Things continue on in that vein for the remainder of the album, with an evocative track title for each sprawling excursion. “A History of Ghosts”, “Path of Tombs”, “From the Vaults to Extermination”, and “Demystifying the Blackness” make up the remainder, in that order, finding reliably satisfying ways to explore fusions of morbidity and heaviness. If you're already a funeral doom fan, you'll find a lot to savor here; for those new to the style, it'll likely be akin to jumping in the deep end. Songs flow smoothly from one to the next, and it's easy to find yourself sucked into the tarry gravity of the tracks. Coming together at just about an hour of abyssal anguish, it's a stunning debut, and a thorough testament to the band's abilities. The physical release is on cassette, through Nailbat Tapes, and officially drops on March 5th, though pre-orders are already up. If funeral doom so deep-toned you can practically drown in it is your thing, don't miss out on this release.

~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Heavydeath, Jupiterian, Malsten, Primitive Man, Thergothon

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Urza - Path of Tombs (320 kbps)

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Saturday, February 06, 2021

Carved Into Being...

Dopelord - Reality Dagger (2021)


Arriving about a year after their most recent album, Sign of the Devil, this EP finds the Polish psych-doomers of Dopelord still flying in high form. Sporting a Suspiria-styled bit of cover art, the three-track release leads off with “Dark Coils”, a fuzzy groover with thick bass, deep-mixed drums, and hazed-out vocals. Working riffs with all their usual mind-hooking adeptness, the band is right in its element, and the intensification towards the end comes through with great execution.

Your Blood” takes place for track two, keeping the fogged-out atmosphere going smooth. Some tasty guitar soloing over a bass riff makes for a fine bridge, before the song slides into echoing vocals and reverb worship. Those first two songs put together come to about the runtime of the title track, coming up to close out the EP with nearly eleven minutes of down-tuned psych metal. Low-pitched groove digging from the bass keeps things plowing along, while the drummer keeps things low-key until it's time for him to cut loose. Some goosebump-inducing vocal effects tilt things in a darker direction than the band usually operates, while the guitarist gets some more solo time with a crunching progression leading back to the pedal-powered morass.

It's a quick trip, but one which clearly shows the group still operating in fantastic form, while trying out some fun tweaks on their usual style. Established fans will get good times out of this, while newcomers will find it a compelling reason to jump into one of the full LPs. Green Plague Records will be handling release across various formats come February 19th, so mark your calendars to pick it up before it vanishes as fast as their physical releases usually do.

~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Dopethrone, Electric Wizard, Keef Mountain, Tar Pit, Uncle Acid

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