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ALBUM OF THE MONTH
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Ur Draugr
(The Wretched Ascetic)
2015
Staff Rating: Turn this to 6.9 of 11
Genre:
Black Metal, Death Metal
Sounds Like:
Opeth, Dire Omen, Gojira
A death metal EP. Huh... interesting as we do not come across these very often. Ur Draugr is a brand new band from Australia that features the following members and tracks:

Drew Griffiths- Vocalist/bassist (Morphica and Aythyr)
Maelstrom- Drummer (DeathFuckingCunt and Beyond Terror Beyond Grace)
Dean Lockheart (Corpsebithc, One Too Many Came!)

Track Listing:

1 - Unseen Golgotha (6:48)
2 - The Wretched Ascetic (10:15)
3 - Sombre Moribund (2:59)

This EP is all about contrast. Ur Draugr drives off of schizophrenic highs and lows taking the heavy barometer of death metal while stirring in some hints of black metal and goth. The trio brings to the table former band experiences in DeathFuckingCunt, Beyond Terror Beyond Grace, and One Too Many Came!.

The Wretched Ascetic commences with "Unseen Golgotha," a dark melodramatic intro that builds into black metal fury. The track has quite a bit of energy and emotion as the band does a nice job bringing things back down. We enjoy the fact that the EP has crisp production and you can delineate the bass sequences with the poignant lead guitar riffs. The band clearly has an affinity for the heavy side of Opeth given their emphasis on contrast. This track ends beautifully mixing in some acoustic guitar work providing some goth-like teasers.

The title track is a ten minute onslaught of schizophrenia, where we get a refreshing taste of brooding percussion to start followed by some classic death metal angst. At about the three minute mark they bring things down to a very soft an melodic guitar sadness. Things get a bit choppy at about the five minute mark. While death metal is often unnerving we found this midpoint to be exceptionally off kilter and a bit difficult to get into. Your eardrums will require some significant adjustments as the weave in and out of catchy hooks and sheer terror. Quite the trip, but still a bit unsettling for the ear.

The closing track sounds much like its title, a very dirgy three minute atmospheric experimental really moving us into a totally different direction. Feedback and white noise are the backdrop for this gloomy painted landscape.

We appreciate Ur Draugr's ability to spend time outside the death metal box. Their efforts to mix in black metal and goth are entertaining, but could use a bit more polishing. Perhaps allowing for more time for the mellow parts to settle rather than such dramatic changes. They are a talented crew and actually shine a bit more during the slower acoustic moments of the EP. Perhaps they will take a page out of Opeth and realize for their upcoming full length due out the end of 2015 that they should be spending a bit more time on the black metal and goth side. Nonetheless, this EP is worth picking-up as it will be a unique addition to your death metal collection. - 8/10/2015

Standout Tracks: The Wretched Ascetic
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