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Review: Urgehal - Ikonoklast

Label: Season of Mist
Year released: 2010
Duration: 56:23
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: June 2, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.64/5 (92.73%) (22 Votes)

Yet another long-running band that I hadn't heard before and this latest album of theirs definitely makes me want to check out their previous material. There are no frills here, just some mostly fast-paced Black Metal with a great dark atmosphere. The vocals play a prime role here, with rasps that are a bit on the clean side and often sound like they're reaching from outer tomb. This gives the album a very cold feel even before you focus on the music. This is fast but not insanely so – well, some parts are pretty damn fast, but it's not speed for the sake of speed and even those speedy passages are quiet varied, with lots of melody thrown in and a few quiet breaks splitting the speedfest at the most unexpected moment – to good effect. While the guitars take center stage here, with the drums just blasting away in the background, there are plenty of choice moments where the drums turn into a much heavier, epic-style majestic style that will just make you want to get the air drums out and gesticulate like a demented motherfucker.

With Ikonoklast, Urgehal do things mostly the mid to late 90s way, focusing more on the core instruments than on various gimmicks to create an effective dark and sometimes haunting, close to frightening but definitely cold and sorrowful atmosphere. The slower guitar parts are a definite highlight here – nothing fancy, just good playing that's quite entrancing – check out the last couple of minutes of "Holocaust in Utopia" as a good example. There's a bit of filler here, not full songs but just a couple of songs that drag on for too long, but since just about everything else kicks ass, it's a very minor thing. This is fast-paced Black Metal the way it should be done, period.

Other related information on the site
Review: Rise of the Monument (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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