Published Jul 22, 2015Icelandic death metal quartet Urdun (or Urðun, as it is written in their native language), are brand new to the scene. Iceland has been exploding with great music and metal lately, and it seems like their underground death metal scene is no exception. While Urdun certainly don't do anything that hasn't been heard before, their debut release, Horror & Gore, is solid, and their grasp on the grimy, bowel-wrenching classic death metal sound is unquestionable.
Horror & Gore is only three short tracks, but it leaves enough of a lasting impression to make listeners hungry for a forthcoming full album. The record opens with "Morbid Funeral Ritual," which starts off slow with crescendoing symbols, and then launches into a full, abrasive old-school death metal attack. The sound is lo-fi for sure, but enough gets through that you can pick out the instruments and appreciate the reverb on the vocals, instead of getting distracted by it. "Horror Spawn," starts out slow as well, and is characterized by the guitar riff that carries over the chorus for much of the song. Things wrap up with "Mortuary," which is the catchiest song on the album, and brings the demo to a close with Carcass-inspired melodic riffing and fantastic dual vocals.
This record might not blow anyone away — it has roughly the same sound as Autopsy, Repulsion, and a slew of other new bands trying to emulate that sound — but this ballsy, rough and accessible sound should make them a definite player in their scene, and the fact that their press kit includes a photo of the group flipping off a giant cross makes me think that their attitude alone will carry them far and make them tons of fun to see live.
Plus, the fact that this is being released on limited edition cassette is a good move to appeal to the kind of classics collectors who will likely be into their music: those who crave more Autopsy worship and like their death metal classic, raw and cold. (Signal Rex)