To talk about politics at the moment in the UK is a touchy subject and one that I can be quite passionate about when in the right company. Backing this up my home town of Ipswich (check it out, great place for gigs) has a thriving Punk scene. That of course leads to a massive array of bands spouting their opinions which of course is great, but Punk isn’t my first choice of music, my first of course is Metal. What I’m trying to say is I’ve never really been one for lyrics in as much as a love for their views, for me music is a bit of an escape from the troubles of the modern world. However there is one lyrical subject that fills me with passion, blasphemy.
Speaking of blasphemy we come today to talk about the underground Finnish Black Thrash titans Urn. Formed back in 1994 the band have gone from strength to strength and indeed it was their 2008 release Soul Destroyers which first captivated me. It’s shocking cover art drew me in and immediately I wanted to know more about Urn. Here we are ready to review the bands fifth full length studio album Iron Will Of Power, which is released via Season Of Mist.
The acoustic introduction of Downfall Of Idols is a throwback to the earlier days of Thrash and the sort of melodious charms emitted from Metallica circa And Justice For All… era. This is soon broken down by frantic drumming and atypical Thrash riffs. Then comes the vocals, full of strong pronunciation but still gruff sort of like a heavier Venom they spit hatred to the masses over the blistering traditional riffs all whilst giving us hooks to latch onto. It is however the guitars that really bring this album to life, Funeral Oath and Prayers both display further traditional Thrash riffs that are melodic and catchy, a somewhat refreshing take on the generally carnage fuelled Black Thrash genre.
There really is no let up either Demonlord proves to be another banger full of sing a long blasphemy and Satanic might, this is happy evil Thrash! Not wishing to break from consistency Spears Of Light and Hunted track us down with more of their old school Metal pace and memorable shouts of war. Again the climactic Will To Triumph is a final stab full of similar flare and an thoroughly enjoyable listen. Of course the more ‘easy listening’ nature of this record might be off putting for a lot of more Extreme Metal fans but personally I feel it really works, making the album accessible for those who perhaps aren’t so accustomed to the more repugnant side of Metal.
All in all I really enjoyed Iron Will Of Power, would I say it’s the best Black Thrash album I’ve ever heard, no. Yet it is still a pleasure and full of decent memorable tracks which is more than can be said for a lot of albums nowadays. The troupes in this record of melody can wear a touch thin at times when you perhaps want a little more but nevertheless I think existing fans of the band are in for a treat. Plus this is a brilliant gateway album, maybe you’re more into traditional Heavy Metal and are seeking that next step of extremity, if you are then Urn have got you covered.
(7/10 George Caley)