URSA
Abyss Between the Stars


3.5
great

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
November 4th, 2018 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: URSA give you “Dragonlance” in a world of “Lord of the Rings.”

Abyss Between the Stars is like one of those old frayed paperbacks adorned with a magical buxom woman wearing impractical skin-bearing armor; a look into a fantasy world and dripping with the maudlin charm of its era. With songs like “Dragon’s Beard,” URSA’s Abyss Between the Stars is pure musical escapism, painting an enchanted portrait by way of thick 70s inspired doom.

Being more or less a side project of the genre-twisting black metal band Cormorant, URSA eschew expectations by presenting an album more in line with recent outings from Spirit Adrift, Pallbearer, and Khemmis. Nick Cohon pads each track with lofty guitar solos while Matt Solis’s vocals march bold and heroically—all feeling very much in line with the glut of other stone/doom bands that have ridden the post-2014 wave. It’s all so sweet that even at its most derivative, Abyss Between the Stars still feels lovely and majestic. With a wry smile, URSA give listeners “Dragonlance” when they’ve become so accustomed to “Lord of the Rings.” The lightly unpredictable progression of “Wizard’s Path,” for example, allows the band to sit comfortably within convention without feeling distractedly cliche. Meanwhile the heavily instrumental “Cave of the Spider King” is wound tightly with frenetic solos and chunky riffs. Each of these six tracks have just enough of their own flavor to escape being too painfully well-trod.

So, if sitting on a bean bag chair and getting stoned in your parents basement while talking about “Thomas Covenant” is your jam, then URSA deliver. It’s nostalgic and fantastical in a lot of important ways, making for a delightful listen from start to finish. That is if you don’t mind this style being found in other, sometimes better, places.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
November 4th 2018


53082 Comments


That artwork slaps

Digging: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Organisation

Evok
November 4th 2018


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Xeno hell yeah. Super stoked to jam this.

Digging: M-Zine - Stalwart

necropig
November 4th 2018


4902 Comments


So its good then, blood didn't lie to me

Digging: Stworz - Coz po zyznych ziemiach...

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2018


9113 Comments


So, if sitting on a bean bag chair and getting stoned in your parents basement while talking about “Thomas Covenant” is your jam, then URSA deliver.


Actually lol'd

mind pos.

Dewinged
November 4th 2018


12388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In love with that cover. Great to see this reviewed, thanks Xeno.

Digging: Funeral Chic - Superstition

AffableMartyr
November 4th 2018


423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All hail the mountain dragon!

DDDeftoneDDD
November 5th 2018


2547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Great passage Affable lol. Review is spot on and funny. Congrats

Digging: Extol - Extol

Voltimand
November 5th 2018


907 Comments


"URSA give listeners “Dragonlance” when they’ve become so accustomed to “Lord of the Rings.”"

Now there's an analogy I never thought I'd read. Pos'd (?)

Digging: Timecop1983 - Night Drive

Evok
November 5th 2018


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A smashing romp this is

teamster
November 5th 2018


3340 Comments


I see the word Cormorant,,,now I must check....for Frodo...

Digging: Trautonist - Ember

Winsomniac
November 5th 2018


8526 Comments


Cool write-up! For the record, I believe the phrase you are looking for was a 'wry smile' rather than a 'rye smile' unless we've got some gluten-related reference going on there.

An aside: if we're bringing fantasy masterworks into this, I highly recommend Malazan Book of the Fallen. It's a definite deathmarch of a series to chug through, but in my opinion it's the most metal m/

Sunnyvale
November 5th 2018


880 Comments


Sweet review, Cormorant rules and so does this

pjquinones747
November 6th 2018


2740 Comments


Amazing review. I'm glad to see Dragonlance getting some love. Plus Cormorant rips so I'm guessing this will also rip.

Digging: Architects - Holy Hell

Evok
November 6th 2018


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

these riffs is straight bodacious

necropig
November 6th 2018


4902 Comments


I see blood got the 5 in again :3

Evok
November 7th 2018


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

move over Khemmis

DDDeftoneDDD
November 7th 2018


2547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

middle-ground between Pallbearer and Khemmis tbh

Evok
November 7th 2018


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what a holy trinity of a tour that would be..

Pho3nix
November 10th 2018


548 Comments


Still waiting for this to hit Spotify

Sunnyvale
November 10th 2018


880 Comments


I listened to this on Spotify




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