Urskumug - Am Nodr
30 April 2006

01. 2012
02. Time Of The Jackdaw
03. Beowulf
04. ----
05. Talking As A Shaman's Son
06. The Guardian
07. Am Nodr
08. Mother Of Halfworld

Urskumug, not really a known or famous band in the Black metal scene, are actually no strangers to me. When I first got into Black metal and I was searching for the 'truest of the true' and the most underground of all (ha!) I ran into these guys. I believe it was their first demo that I listened to back then. After a short while I forgot about them again, probably because I refined my taste into a different direction. But I'm glad I received Am Nodr for review some time ago, so I can look back at what I listened to back then. And I realize once again how short my voyage into the realms have been.

One thing that I feel I should point this out, Am Nodr is not their latest album. Passover, their '07 effort, is their latest release at the moment of writing.

They claim to be 'tribal Black metal', but that'd be like calling any Black metal band with a drummer 'tribal'. Heh, even Lily Allen would play 'tribal pop' in that case. What we have here is simple high-speed Black metal, mechanic and soulless, with the occasional meatier Death metal riff and grunt: yea-fucking-eah. Like we haven't heard that one before. The 'tribal' tag, as well as the Death metal riffs, are both examples of trying to be unique, but they seem to forget that many, many a band has tried the same thing for exactly the same reason. And needless to say, only the first few and the exceptionally good succeeded in sounding 'fresh' this way.

After a bunch of listens I can understand why I liked this band back then and why I forgot all about them. Their take on Black metal, somewhat metallic and industrialized, is nicely executed but quite bland and forgettable. It bothers me that I have to serve them off as mediocre and that they end up in the '6-range' because they are technically well-grounded, but that's simply not enough any more these days... So let me repeat the conclusion I've reached here many times before: it will please the die-hard fan and if you want to check something from Latvia this will probably be your best bet, but besides that... naw, thanks.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 6

Band profile: Urskumug
Album: Am Nodr


Written on 17.09.2009 by
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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