Monday, 11 January 2016

Urgehal - Massive Terrestrial Strike

URGEHAL - Massive Terrestrial Strike (NO COLOURS - LP 1998)
No doubt, Urgehal is one of the very few older Norwegian black metal bands that always stayed faithful to their roots, never wimped out, never changed their style for something else or never “matured” like so many other bands from this country. And that is enough reason for me to have special respect and admiration for Urgehal works, even if not all their stuff is super good. But when you want to listen to some pure Norwegian black metal, this is the stuff! “Massive Terrestrial Strike” is their second album, released back in 1998, and maybe it’s not my favourite record from Nefast and Enzifer, but surely it’s a decent and solid slab of black metal filth.
And you know, you can accuse Urgehal for playing so repetitive, unoriginal and primitive stuff, but I like it anyway. Fuck off, this is pure Norwegian black metal. And yes, music style of Urgehal – not only on “Massive Terrestrial Strike” – is very comparable to Darkthrone. I would add also Bathory from “The Return” LP and Carpathian Forest for the full picture. But it’s mainly Darkthrone, from such classic records like “Transilvanian Hunger” and “Total Death”. Even the artwork of “Massive Terrestrial Strike” reminds me “Total Death”, but it surely fits the title very well. Lyrics aside, as they’re typical black metal bullshit, sometimes better written, sometimes worse (“…He rape the pure thoughts of those fucking christians and he penetrates the pure cunts of those delicious little nuns…”). The music is surely a mead for the black metal maniacs. It’s raw sounding, cruel, filthy, cold and aggressive stuff, with good balance between the simplistic, minimalist and monotonously sounding fast shit and slower, more rhythmic and “catchier” black metal. Of course I like the latter a bit more, the slower riffs are always good to hear, they have this nice vibe and bring more interesting ideas. And they have great, more memorable hooky black metal riffs, with better performed, less dry vocals. If you want some good examples, then take a listen to “Supreme Evil”, “Flames of Black Candles” or “The Sodomizer”, which even has a kind of thrashing black feeling, similar to Aura Noir. Surely though “Image of the Horned King” is the best song of all, with best riffs, very good arrangements, etc, so it’s a real standout here. On the other hand I don’t like such “The Saturnine Denomination” so much, as it’s just monotonous and utterly mediocre fast black metal.
So, “Massive Terrestrial Strike” has some better and maybe a couple of worse songs, it has some killer moments and some dull ones. It isn’t the best work from Urgehal though, their best were yet to come in 2000’s, but it’s a solid and worthy black metal slab for sure. It’s good to have a vinyl version, which comes with an extra song, but it was limited to 500 copies, never reissued, so it can be quite hard to find.
Standout tracks: “Supreme Evil”, “Image of the Horned King”, “The Sodomizer”

Final rate: 69/100

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