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jools green
Jools Green

ur hail death

"The Polish cold winter has created a new beast. The name of this beast is UR!"

An intriguing statement but NOTHING could have prepared me for the impact this utterly fascinating and rather superb debut offering from Polish Black/Heavy Metal outfit UR would have on me from the moment I gave it the first listen and it's not a feeling that wanes with subsequent listens either.

An insight into the idea behind the band is given by UR mastermind, Gregor, who comments:

"UR is exactly what all of us have been willing to do for a major part of our nearly fifteen-year long musical quest, yet for some reason had been unable to put into effect. UR is a beast, an animal – free, untamed and unpredictable. When we meet at rehearsals, we grab our instruments; fill the glasses with vodka and just play. We do not need any philosophy for something this simple. Neither do we obey any particular stylistic framework, nor limit ourselves to it.

"The music on 'Hail Death' came up quickly and naturally; it is minimalistic, yet thoroughly prepared; full of contrast, yet cohesive."

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The six tracks span a compact twenty minutes, but the sheer density to the music makes it feel like so much more. The opening track, 'A Dying Star', builds with waves of dirty black riffing but it's the impact of the opening line of lyrics at the one minute mark that has that initial dramatic effect:

"I would like to be like a star and die slowly before your eyes," and from herein my attention was fully focused on the stunning sounds unravelling before me.

It's an end to end, up tempo, unrelenting onslaught, which is what also makes it so exciting. The composition is straightforward, uncomplicated and wonderfully black and raw with an almost primal feel but the winning elements are the mesmerizing twin vocals, a combination of stunning, slightly Gothic cleans alongside expressive snarling growls which have the added bonus of clarity alongside their brutality.

On 'Total Inertia', 'Infinity' and 'Only Bones Stay Here' I would have been happy with just the growls so anything more is a bonus. I also love how the blackened riffing drops away to an 80s Heavy Metal aspect at times, on the second half of 'Let The Darkness Come' or on 'The Tongue Of Fire' where the lead work turns retro, another unexpected touch of genius.

'Hail Death' was recorded and mixed at Left Hand Sounds studio by Marcin Rybicki who is known also for his work at In Twilight's Embrace and Bloodthirst. The cover art was painted by Krzysztof Sikorski and is the album is available from Arachnophobia Records.





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