Ur Draugr: The Wretched Ascetic

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Ur Draugr: The Wretched Ascetic
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Ur Draugr: The Wretched Ascetic
Black Metal, Death Metal
Self-release
January 8th, 2015
Release length: 20:02
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Ur Draugr is a newly formed three-piece Black/Death Metal group based out of Per, Western Australia. Within its ranks are three notable musicians, each with a strong legacy in their own right. These individuals include drummer Maelstrom (DeathFuckingCunt, former Beyond Terror Beyond Grace), guitarist Dean Lockheart (Corpsebitch, One Too Many Came!), and vocalist/bassist Drew Griffiths (Aythyr, former Morphica). The entity formed about a year ago, but the time clearly wasn’t squandered. Aside their other obligations, this new musical entity went into the studio to record the three tracks that would make up their self-released 2015 EP debut, The Wretched Ascetic. But is this an explosion of pent up creativity, or is it nothing more than an experimentation gone wrong?

While a mixture of Black and Death Metal, there are some Progressive and Doom Metal elements thrown in. “Unseen Golgotha” sets the mood with a soft yet gloomy atmospheric introduction, as if performed in the darkness and lit by the flicker of candlelight, represented by some subtle static clicks from time in the empty, intimate chamber it seems to take place in. The slow build to the similarly depressive Black Metal performance that mixes together sharp riffs and deeper distortions and bass presence make the main verses and chorus powerfully emotional, backed by well paced drums not afraid to pick up speed when necessary, as well as monstrous growls and rasps that mesh together to suit the level of passion being woven musically. But it’s not until four-and-a-half minutes in that you get to experience the chaotic side of the group, channelling their inner Opeth through various tempo changes, not to mention simpler hooks backed by more acoustic notes that take on a gothic aura akin to Moonspell.

But it’s “The Wretched Ascetic” that the band’s Doom Metal side really comes through. After ninety seconds of steady faster paced drums, the following technical Death Metal precision and crushing bass presence leave a blunt, Djent influenced pounding in its wake, shifting to a softer, moody piece that seems to channel a hint of Jazz with a touch of Blues in the clean guitars that can turn the somewhat catchy and upbeat rhythm and bass guitar notes into an environment riddled with time signatures ly intricate in execution. As you approach the half way point, and even beyond, it all comes off like a far more grounded Fantomas composition littered with catchy grooves from time to time. Eventually the spontaneity dulls down, as if crashing from an insane sugar rush with more depressing chords at a slower pace, bleeding into “Sombre Moribund” thanks to some white noise and deep reverb before throwing back to the acoustic start of “Unseen Golgotha” and it’s depressing and grim aural landscapes.

The Wretched Ascetic is what happens when you allow three talented musicians to let their creativity explode. Influences from the worlds of Black, Death, Doom, and Progressive Metal, as well as Jazz and Blues can all be found within the confines of this twenty minute EP. The only problem is that the band’s tantric side can go on a bit too long, eventually losing the impact of how sudden and precise certain timing changes and executions can be, which is highlighted in the title track. Madness aside, Ur Draugr‘s strong point stands as the ease in which they can alter your emotions, performing moving bleak and depressing worlds as easy as they do bursts of hostility, making this debut outing one well worth experiencing.


01. Unseen Golgotha – 6:48
02. The Wretched Ascetic – 10:15
03. Sombre Moribund – 2:59
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Ur Draugr
Ur Draugr

Digital review copy of this release provided by Ur Draugr
via Viral Propaganda PR.