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“Through Thick Fog Till Death” by Urgehal

Artist: Urgehal
Title: “Through Thick Fog Till Death”
Label: Southern Lord Music
Release Date: 2/22/2005
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 6/10

When I first received this CD, I expected a typical run of the mill blasting of Black Metal; but as I listened to the recording I found a few solid points that even I could enjoy as the non-discerning Black Metal fan. Urgehal is definitely a band that is trying to keep the Black Metal style as real and as pure as they can. There are sufficient references to the Dark Powers in their lyrical content and little modification of the blistering speed that is often required to maintain such a band. Their look is intense and perhaps a little too much so; even though Black Metal determines you must be imposing, one does not want to look ridiculous. Enzifer has more spikes coming out of him than Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies does, and I cannot imagine this is an easy look to deal with on the performance stage. Most of the album holds a steady yet solid direction and can be thought of as a heavier, more talented Mayhem. There are no keyboard flourishes that one finds in Dimmu Borgir, but some fans of the genre are no longer considering them much of a Black Metal band these days. I enjoyed a few tracks even though the lyrical matter escaped me. “Invasion” had a lot of Celtic Frost feel to it and songs like “Raise The Symbols Of Satan” rushed by like a Black Metal version of Poland’s Behemoth. It can’t hurt being referenced in a sense to those giants of Metal. The group is made up of Trondr Nefas (guitar/voice), Enzifer (guitar), Sregroth (bass) and Uruz (drums). Southern Lord has given fans of this genre a worthy addition to their collections and I feel those that partake in this end of the Metal spectrum will find it meets their approval. Proving their dedication to the audience, the album was issued with 4 bonus live tracks that were previously not issued. It’s Norwegian Black Metal at its blasphemous best with both sides of the coin being brought into their homes. The band also showcases levels of musical discipline not often associated with the style. They mix it up and change the tempos more than one will usually find. Lyrics and photos are included in the black and white booklet that runs 12 pages of evil for you to absorb. Each song, while on the short side, still gets to the point and assaults the senses like you expect Black Metal to do. While not exactly the level of Morbid Angel, at least it’s not Gorgoroth.
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