Urgehal - Ikonoklast
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
9 songs (56:22)
Release year: 2009
Official Myspace, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Charles
The promo stuff from Season of Mist says that this is a bit of a departure for Urgehal, with the band supposedly having widened their dynamic palette, including the addition of new depths of “doom-laden solemnity”. True enough, this is a bit more varied a kettle of fish, in comparison to say 2006’s Goatcraft Torment, which barely deviated even momentarily from its Nordic, Satanic course. Only very slightly though. In fact, you wouldn’t think it at all from opener Stesolid Self-Destruction to Damnation, or even second track Dødelagt, which pick up their admirably brutal assault where their last album left off, with its fast and hard tremolo wind tunnel attack supplemented by regular breakdowns into groovy mid-tempos and surprisingly capable lead guitar work.

It’s when you get to the firm-but-fair The Necessity of Total Genocide that things start to get a bit more diverse, of only a little. It’s one of quite a few lengthy (over seven minutes long) tracks here, and it opens with a supremely creepy slow vamp. I guess this is the somemnity kicking in. Ironically enough, though, the best thing about the tune is the stupendous black metal riffing into which this eerie sound builds; twisting, violently contorted guitar lines zig zag unpleasantly, accompanied by a real Elephant Man of a guitar solo. Their lead guitarist (not quite sure which one he is thanks to the very black metal lineup listing) provides us with other highpoints as well; the beautifully out-of-control, totally rock and roll solo on Kniven Rider Dypt I Natt is for my money the very best thing about this album.

Despite these flourishes, though we are rarely out of our ultra-orthodox stride. Not really a bad thing, to be honest, as they have a real grasp of how to play it with real energy, and as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, the lead guitar playing is top-notch, giving this a big touch of class. A couple of tracks here do also demonstrate the presence of a more emotional, cathartic side. The droning melodies of Holocaust in Utopia bring early Dissection to mind, for example.

If you are going to play old school second wave black metal, this is probably a good example of how. There is little else to add; Urgehal really do earn their spiky gimp masks with this record.

Killing Songs :
Kniven Rider Dypt I Natt, Holocaust in Utopia
Charles quoted 75 / 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 - Through Thick Fog till Death reviewed by Alex and quoted 71 / 100
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