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'The Wretched Ascetic' EP
(Independent Release)

jools green

Jools Green

ur draugr

I enjoy classic black and death Metal and all that lies between as long as it is well executed but hearing something innovative that stands alone in its uniqueness is what really "floats my goat" and the debut EP 'The Wretched Ascetic' from Australian extreme Metal experimentalists Ur Draugr does just that.

'Ur Draugr' were founded by Drew James Griffiths (Aythyr, Corpsebitch, ex:Morphica) covering bass/guitars/vocals in 2014, and he is joined by Dean Lockhart (Corpsebitch) on guitars and Dan 'Maelstrom' Grainger, who is involved with a huge number of bands including DeathFuckingCunt, Wardaemonic and Impiety, on drums.

The EP consists of three tracks spanning twenty minutes, a definite case of quality over quantity. It's extreme and progressive, going beyond the boundaries of Metal, adding a progressive influence along with a slight jazz leaning to both the drum work and guitars, accompanied by deep death Metal vocal growls of broad ranging proportions, all this culminating at times as a sonic aural assault, others relaxed, chilled and atmospheric giving a truly experimental and rich texture to the resulting sound.

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You might sense a hint of Behemoth in the riffing or a touch of Opeth and Enslaved in the progressive approach, a mere coincidence because the overall powerful, ominous and hypnotic sound on 'The Wretched Ascetic' is all Ur Draugr.

The reflective guitar opener on the six minute 'Unseen Golgotha' leaves you unsure what to expect but just before the two minute mark a distant roaring "Aaaaaggh!" heralds the tempo picking up, opening out into a track that is dark yet hauntingly beautiful. The vocals are just stunning, powerful and superbly intonated, the progressive edge coming more to the surface in the latter end of this superb track.

ur draugr

Longest track at a mighty ten minutes duration, 'The Wretched Ascetic', arrives in a repeating wall of intense sound, a brief drum laced interlude before the waves of sound return accompanied by vocals that include face searing screams, then a quarter if the way in and a calm reflective progressive guitar element appears but don't get too relaxed or comfortable; the progressive slant remains but the brutal edge returns, relenting in the final minute, a truly brutal, progressively "off the wall" and fascinating track.

Final track, 'Sombre Moribund' spanning just under a mere three minutes returns to the more reflective clean edged guitars, laced with barely audible haunting vocals before fading out.

'The Wretched Ascetic' was recorded by the band's drummer, Dan 'Maelstrom' Grainger of Maelstrom Studios. This EP is superb and a refreshingly unique listen. I just hope Ur Draugr do a full length release as I want to hear more of this.

This superb release is available to buy as a digital file from or

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