Urarv’s previous album “Aurum” (2017) was a gem. Inspired by Björn Aldrahn Dencker a.k.a Aldrahn of DHG and Thorns, the Norwegians regaled us with insane black metal atmospheres. This time round it’s a brief affair – 25 minutes – but as I was about to find out, it’s no less intense or grim.
Didgeridoo sounds accompany mystical chanting, before “Kråkekjott” (Crow Meat) blasts us off into a past world of dirty, raw old school black metal. Norwegian sounds dirty when spat out, which is what happens on “Aurum”. It’s the music of disturbed worlds and minds, as the vocalist howls like a wolf and the atmosphere falls somewhere between bleakness, nastiness and psychological torture. “Satori” is hard and fast, and not in the least harmonious, but then it’s about pain. It twists and turns the knife. The vocalist sounds deranged. The guitar work is razor-sharp and threatening. The air is violent. “Stop!” shouts the vocalist. But not for long, as a volley of further violence descends in furious haste. “Sannhet” (Truth) is the most coordinated song so far, driving forward and giving us the exciting end of black metal. An echoey chorus plays with our minds, but at the heart of all this is a brutal black metal assault. Sunrise is not what you expect on this album, but that’s what “Soloppgang” means. The guitar hangs in the tense air, as explosive bursts infiltrate the ghastly-sounding tale. Ghoulish sounds end the song, which suggests that the sunrise is a prelude to a horrible day ahead.
Once again we are given the entry code to the disturbing minds and thought patterns of Aldrahn and his mates. It’s all wrapped up in old style black metal ghastliness for our delight.
(8/10 Andrew Doherty)