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Ur Draugr – The Wretched Ascetic

Ur Draugr
The Wretched Ascetic
by Te Hao Boon at 03 July 2015, 6:42 AM

UR DARUGR is a Blackened Death Metal band from Perth, Australia consisting Drew Griffiths (Bass/ Guitars / Vocals), Dan Grainger (Drums) and Dean Lockhart (Guitars).

Firstly, this EP could have been a full-length debut by UR DARUGR, but their hard drives (including backups), were all destroyed on December 2014. This EP contains 2 songs salvaged from the disaster. It is a disaster as the EP showed how much of a monster release the album could have been.

This is a very atmospheric Metal album. It begins with a soothing acoustic guitar intro on “Unseen Golgotha”. I could hear pops and crackles at the background, it felt like a gloomy man was playing his 6 strings for a campfire gathering- beautiful but sad. Slowly, the drums come in and I was assaulted by the instruments. The musicians took their time throughout the seven minute track to build a landscape, where crows fly and peck on rotten carcasses.

The title track “The Wretched Ascetic” really showed the drummer’s chops. It is clear he spends a lot of time practicing his drum rudiments- the snare rolls with clear accents, how he cross over from hi-hat to ride cymbal at the 2 minute mark was cleverly done without sounding sloppy. The guitarist was also happy to experiment, you can hear influences of Blues, Jazz and Classic Rock in the guitar solo in “The Wretched Ascetic”. After the solo, there is a slight pause. It is almost like the band’s way of asking “Are you ready for more?” before the double bass kick in. At the end of the song, it became a wall of sound. I caught myself staring into the screen while listening a couple of times, blanking out to the feedbacks and guitar shredding. I was never bored however, the track is constantly evolving and throwing curveballs at me, so I was never quite sure what was going to happen next and I happily anticipate for the next movement.

The album ends with a fully acoustic song ("Sombre Moribund"). It is the perfect way to end it. It is like the tea you have after having a fulfilling and delicious meal - something light to wash down all that goodness.

The vocals are mastered to be considerably softer than the instrumentals and in this album, and it feels appropriate. It allows the listener to pay close attention to the hyper-technical playing by each of the members.
This is a very beautifully performed album with a stellar group of musician and amazing showmanship. Despite only being 20 minutes long, it showcased what this band has to offer and I can’t wait to listen to their next release.

5 Star Rating

1. Unseen Golgotha
2. The Wretched Ascetic
3. Sombre Moribund
Drew Griffiths- Bass, Guitars, Vocals
Dan Grainger- Drums
Dean Lockhart- Guitars
Record Label: Aeternitas Tenebrarum


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