URGEHAL - Through Thick Fog till Death (AGONIA Records LP 2003)
I think this was the first album from Urgehal, which I've heard. And I instantly liked it a lot. I loved its sheer aggression, intensity, malicious, satanic aura and even though "Through Thick Fog till Death" is not an album, which would be bringing anything new to the black metal sound, it kicks ass anyway. Besides, it was released in 2003 and, as far as I remember those days, Norway wasn't coming up with so many killer black metal albums anymore. Most of the old bands turned into lame caricatures. While some other's albums were mediocre to say the best about them. So, it was with newer bands like Urgehal, , or 1349 which delivered the best Norwegian black metal of the early 00's.
Nowadays, when I listen to this LP I see "Through Thick Fog till Death" as a great improvement when comparing it to Urgehal previous records. Obviously I liked a lot their "Massive Terrestrial Strike" album from 1998, which was filled with that cold and pure raw Norsk black metal in the vein. But the following LP "" was simply forgettable and it hardly impressed me with anything. Couple of lousy covers, some live recordings and dull black metal songs... sorry, nothing exceptional there! "Through Thick Fog till Death" is a great step forward, showing quality bigger than anything the band has done before. Yes, this album is better in every aspect, starting with its great production, through very good performance and of course very good and some of the best satanic anthems this band has ever done. music has intensified a lot, they present more aggressive and powerful black metal played in fast tempo for most of the time. I like it that way, with such blasting fuckers as "Possessed (Raped by Evil)" or "Raise the Symbols of Satan". They catch your throat immediately and crush it with speedy , blasting drums and croaky vocals of . The pace is fast, everything sounds very violent, but the riffs are still relatively memorable and even if sometimes it all sounds like a mix between , and , it just sounds better than your average black metal. Good thing though is that sometimes comes back to their older style of mid paced, cold and grim black metal, in songs like "Satanic " and "Invasion", which is very classic sounding tune.
The album is filled with great songs. I've mentioned "Possessed (Raped by Evil)" and "Raise the Symbols of Satan", but also such "Satanic ", "Mirror Satan" and "Dead Cold December" are fantastic. And yeah, this is a must to have album for the fans of pure black metal from Norway. I only wish that didn't fuck up the artwork for the vinyl version of it. Compared to CD, it just looks awful.
Standout tracks: as I mentioned
Final rate: 80/100