Review Summary: The debut outing from Denmark's self dubbed "Melodic Death Thrash Metal" band Urkraft forgets to bring the melody but comes out full-force with the thrash.
Hailing from Denmark, death/thrash metal band Urkraft
have been long honing their respective skills and shaping their modern take on a thrashier time, finally culminating on their debut release, Eternal Cosmic Slaughter
. Urkraft’s main musical influences seem to be rooted deeply within early-era thrash and death metal bands, with hints of the classic Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal style (see later comparison to At the Gates
). The drums attack with a rhythmic pulse that seems to drive the equally extreme twin guitars, rounded out by a brutal offering from vocalist/rhythm guitarist T. "Mester" Pedersen. There are sparse moments where a keyboard takes prominence, but this is a direction that would be much more explored on this album’s follow-up, barely making its presence heard throughout these songs.
Getting on with the album, the music here isn’t anything too spectacular. The band itself is actually a pretty tight unit, delivering their frantic beats and wails seemingly to a science. There are hints of undiscovered melody on this disc, somewhat similar to melodic-death metal pioneers At the Gates’s
early foray’s into the style. The album’s opening track is pretty much a run of the mill thrashy/death metal song, though fans of this genre may get more out of it than myself. I found that the second and third tracks, Paint the City Black
respectively were much stronger songs, seemingly possessing a little more than the standard to carry them through. Even here there isn’t really a new take on the style, although I could be missing the point of this band’s music entirely. Perhaps it is the straight-up delivery of death and thrash that this band is going for, a simplified version with very little for the listener to have to digest. There are some hidden moments of melody scattered throughout Eternal Cosmic Slaughter
, scarcely found in tracks like Cannibal Melancholy
, Through Your Senses
, and At the Border of the Known World
(all coincidentally taking place towards the end of the record).
It isn’t that this is a bad record overall, just that it seems to lack a certain spark that’s preventing this from being a good record. There is definitely a talented approach to this musical direction, just no real fresh musical moments to keep the listener (or is it just me in this case) hungry for more. The album seems to meander from one track to the next, with little to distinguish between them. For this, its consistency should not be overlooked, though it is definitely Eternal Cosmic Slaughter’s
weakest point in the fact that the album lacks any evolutionary desires. As a whole, this album is (presumably) weaker than Urkraft’s sophomore follow-up, from which I’ve only managed to hear a couple songs, though they seem to fix up the problems of the first disc and gives potential fans some hope.