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Marc Urselli’s SteppenDoom – SteppenDoom

Marc Urselli’s
by Gary Hernandez at 22 January 2023, 6:49 PM

Marc Urselli may not be a household name for Extreme metal fans, but he might be soon. He is a six-time Grammy Award nominated, three-time Grammy Award winning engineer, producer, mixer, sound designer. He’s also a multi-instrumentalist visionary. His vision stares deeply into the nexus of Atmospheric and Folk Metal. On November 18, 2022, Marc released “SteppenDoom” via Magnetic Eye Records. It is eight tracks of intriguing art and showcases some of the best throat singing talent around. Adjacently, think HEILUNG, THE HU, NYTTLAND.

In case you are wondering whether this is a serious project or just some fly-by-night whim, let me give you the rundown of guest artists: Matt Pike (SLEEP, HIGH ON FIRE), Aaron Aedy (PARADISE LOST), Steve Von Till (NEUROSIS), Christopher Juul (HEILUNG), Dave Chandler (SAINT VITUS), and Scott "Wino" Weinrich (THE OBSESSED). Also featured are several “masters of throat signing,” including Alash Ensemble, Batzorig Vaanchig "Zorigoo", HUUN-HUUR-TU, Tanya Tagaq, Albert Kuvezin (YAT-KHA), and Alexey Tegin.

Yeah, some serious talent here.

SteppenDoom” with its two bonus tracks pushes on 80 minutes. The last track is over half-an-hour long, so definitely some value on the dollar to tunage scale. If you are wondering if this a good throat singing album, I really don’t know what to tell you. It works for me, but I know very little about the tradition. To my ears it is more of an Atmospheric album than Folk Metal, but I don’t think he was trying to color inside the lines on this one. And to level set expectations, this is not a Doom album at all. The only Doom that comes into play is with the two bonus tracks.

Questions about standout tracks are kind of meaningless here. Intriguing album to listen to, but not something you’re likely to dwell on . . . unless throat singing and long wave, explorative cinematic is your bag. In fact, it would fit well with a video game—maybe a horror-themed walking sim with majestic mountains, dark forests, and a graveyard or two.

All in all, “SteppenDoom” is a curious but worthwhile trip. I think the verdict is still out on just how much traction the whole throat singing trend will get but it would be interesting to see this type of vocal style find its way into more Metal efforts. It has all the right elements—highly technical, steeped in folkloric tradition, and visceral as hell.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Etugen Eke & Od Ana
2. Garuda Khuresh
3. Agloolik Igaluk
4. Tamag & Ocmah
5. Imdugud in Shambhala
6. Peri to Ela Guren
7. Sedna and Eliduc (bonus)
8. A-dkar Theg Pa (bonus)
Marc Urselli – Bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, percussion
Record Label: Magnetic Eye Records


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