Urgehal - Through Thick Fog till Death
Southern Lord
Primal Black Metal
15 songs (78'40")
Release year: 2005
Official Myspace, Southern Lord
Reviewed by Alex

I was in Chicago on a business trip when they elected a new Pope. On the way back I noticed a new billboard that just went up on a highway close to the house where I live. I am forced to drive by it every day now on my way to work and it says: “Renew your faith. Visit yourcatholicdiocese.com” The controversial nature in me wanted to listen to some Black Metal at that point and there was a CD that I knew would be right for the mood. All one has to do is look at the booklet of Urgehal’s Through Thick Fog till Death. Indecipherable logo, back cover practically copying Emperor’s with four band members black & white shots in four corners and the front art I would not want my children to see, guitarist Enzifier slitting the throat of a scantily clad broad in the cemetery location. This one will make you “renew your faith”, and that catholic diocese is shaking in fear already.

How and why this is on Southern Lord is beyond me, with Polish label Agonia issuing this album earlier in September of ’03. Urgehal as an entity, however, has been around since 1994, issuing a couple of keyboard inclusive demos and a couple of full-lengths on No Colours and most noteworthy Atomkinder on the local Norwegian imprint Flesh for Beast in 2001.

Urgehal make absolutely no pretense about what they intend to deliver, some harsh and raw Black Metal in the true Norwegian spirit, and, I suspect, it might be one of the reasons Hoest of Taake mentioned them in his recent MR interview with our own Daniel. Hoest saying that he has no much use for Black Metal outside of Norway was, no doubt, an arrogant statement, but bands like Tsjuder and Urgehal are certainly hard at work trying to breathe life (or should I say undying feeling of decay) into the wilting Norwegian scene.

Wasting no more than 30 seconds on 666 synthesizer intro, Urgehal jump right in with Possessed (Raped by Evil) and Raise the Symbols of Satan. The ugly in your face washboard guitar riffage and drums blasting holes in your inner ear are the order of the day. Urgehal “varies” things a bit, however. The title track is blackened thrash with a twist and Invasion is a long track alternating Norsecore (Misha, thanks to introducing me to the term) and tension building speed. In fact, Through Thick Fog till Death has several of these long songs with even amount of threnodious disturbing fast Black Metal and monumental hellfest marches punctuated by Trondr Nefas vomitous rasps and Aruz’s ride cymbals. These two forces often collide in one frenzied end (Mirror Satan). Brutal, chainsaw-like guitars veer off the edge with speed and pile on layers and layers of sound in Satanic Deathlust.

Not that it wasn’t done before, namely by Darkthrone and Satyricon, but Urgehal adds more bottom end and Celtic Frost type arrogance to their music. Almost sadistic mowing riffs making their point in Supreme Blasphemy, I much more preferred nihilistic production, dramatic frozen harmonies and blistering riffs of Dead Cold December, which could be a fitting entry on Nemesis Divina. Dod, Dod og Atter Dod also provides a welcome ancient Viking feel in its slower parts.

Not the second rate, but definitely the second generation, Urgehal walks the path once blazed by the aforementioned fellow Norwegians before. Urgehal’s music and their Satanic oriented mankind despising lyrics obviously emanates the true kult spirit, so if you were missing it, most definitely get yourself a copy of Through Thick Fog till Death. To borrow a motto from Tsjuder “No female vocals, no synthesizers, no fucking compromises”. As a bonus you will also hear four surprisingly good quality production live tracks. Not to poke fun, but I can’t shake the notion of how much Enzifier’s makeup looks like the Pulp Fiction gimp with metal studs on his head being the main distinction.

Killing Songs :
Invasion, Dead Cold December, Dod, Dod Og Atter Dod
Alex quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Urgehal that we have reviewed:
Urgehal - Aeons in Sodom reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Urgehal - Goatcraft Torment reviewed by Tony and quoted 92 / 100
Urgehal - Ikonoklast reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
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