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Urdôl Ur - Seven Portals To The Arcane Realms

Urdôl Ur
Seven Portals To The Arcane Realms
by Andrew Harvey at 17 May 2022, 5:39 AM

An atmospheric black metal due known as URDÔL UR are from Norway, the two protagonists of this duo are QROLEÛS and AHAZ THARKAÊL, however it is unclear what instruments they play. Unfortunately there isn’t as much background to when and how this duo came together. However there is a historic reference or possibly a myth saying that QROLEÛS and AHAZ THARKAÊL ‘embark on a solemn journey through a world of ash and ruin’. This goes on to say that they are on a ‘quest to gather the last vestiges of arcane powers and to obtain the lost wisdom from the world of Ôrd. As they transverse through the seven portals  and beyond, their destiny unfolds under the banner of URDÔL UR’.

They now begin their musical journey in the shape of their debut album SEVEN PORTALS TO THE ARCANE REALMS which has now been released on all platforms and formats. The album starts off with “Prelude” which consists of mostly brass sounds mixed with keyboard sound effects, this doesn’t last long. Then there is a sudden guitar riff that projects on in the mix as there is battle hardened soundscape noises, as vocals screech for a short time. Sustained guitar notation is also heard throughout this track with mediaeval sounds as the track settles down halfway through.

“Visions Of Ancient Battles On The Plains Of Baergloire” goes on with themes of conflict as drums carry the torch of this track on as this evil, satanic voice speaks briefly. Electric guitar really unwinds as drums accompany until the end of this track. Lead vocals do return shortly then a racing guitar riff shouts loudly. “Pond Of Mana” with a harp melody and sound of a small pond of water together with natural surroundings like birds chirping. “Munloire” repeats such mediaeval soundscape as the intro to this 9 minute track as guitar jumps in with subtle riffs plus vocals crave for more fury and spooky texture.

Drums come into the mix too as they set a tempo for all other instruments to follow along. Halfway through the short break is interrupted by pulsating guitar riffs as drums return, punching their way through the barricade of where vocals scream for a short length of time. Drums especially have their own soloistic timestamp and all hell breaks loose before the end is in sight. “Emerald Crypts Beneath The Ancient Meadow” contains a piano melody with stirring soundscape sound effects as the track cuts off to lead us into the next track.

“The Darkened Pass (In The Shadows Of Thozzt Dogor)” is riveting with guitar ploughing along as drums given that injection the track needs to carry on. Vocals also continue to spit and stir the pot of burning atmospheric black metal as there is another mediaeval interlude. Piano is also heard as drums sweep in as occult vocal lines repeat for guitar to play a higher pitched riff as the track closes. “A Wizard’s Lament” has what sounds like a flute playing prolonged notes as the album comes to a close with that mediaeval soundscape. There is a keyboard to play out the final track and this brings the album to an end.

Overall this album has certainly got a lot that is very diverse, of course the contrast between the black metal and mediaeval soundscape is certainly a big positive to take from this album. Even though the black metal mix is repetitive with the musicality, the background or palette of sound effects is a very effective addition, as it blends everything together so the continuity of what the band plays is more appealing.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prelude
2. Visions Of Ancient Battles On The Plains Of Baergloire
3. Pond Of Mana
4. Munloire
5. Emerald Crypts Beneath The Ancient Meadow
6. The Darkened Pass (In The Shadows Of Thozzt Dogor)
7. A Wizard’s Lament
Lineup:
Qroleûs
Ahaz Tharkaêl
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions
     


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