The Inhuman Aberration
5/7/2007 - Review by: Etiam
Urkraft - The Inhuman Aberration - 2006 - Earache Records
|Track Listing1. Too Strong for the Strongest Lord |
2. This Great Summer
3. The Only Gods
4. The Inhuman Aberration
5. Open the Gate
6. Come No Tomorrow
7. Watch Your Own Eyes
10. The Pressure of Our Jaws
We are all familiar with that particular brand of metal too full of hooks to call straight-up Death, but also full enough of modern chord progressions and pinch harmonics to make any true 80’s thrash fan toss their mullet in disgust. In ‘The Inhuman Aberration’, Urkraft toss yet another hat into the ring, and so the tradition lives on.
This is ‘Death Thrash’, arguably, featuring that one-two, snare-tom combo and the low, restless guitar hooks that end in a flourish and repeat indefinitely. A popular and still fairly effective formula and one that many of us have a soft spot for.
Essentially, this is where The Haunted’s gonads fell to earth when they ejected from that autopilot disaster some years ago. Geographically, that is Denmark, the oft-overlooked little brother of the Scandinavian Heavy Metal scene.
And, as fans of Danish Metal such as Mercenary (whose Kral actually guests on two tracks), Illdisposed, or Hatesphere surely know, there is a distinctive and widespread national style and texture. It is not as easy to define as Gothenburg harmony, Norwegian lo-fi, or Finnish neo-classicism, but it is just as distinctive.
It primarily consists of a thick and balanced production where all the instruments and vocals sound substantial and ‘heavy’, but not particularly aggressive. It lacks ‘attack’, to use a percussion term. The Danish sound never rises or falls too far from that established equilibrium, even at its lightest moments of synth-melodies (a popular theme) or through the meatiest guitar rhythms (something they also have a keen sense for).
The result is a rather positive initial impression, and ‘The Inhuman Aberration’ certainly maintains its drive enough to outstrip any new Haunted record, and at a few points taking a decidedly contemplative slant as the keyboards take the fore. However, Urkraft unfortunately do not endeavor to enhance or redefine the template they’ve been given to work with. Instead, they perpetuate it with an almost palpable complacency, beginning and ending at essentially the same point in our minds and on the fretboard. Urkraft take the audience on a quaint little trip with some fun party music but fail to leave any lasting impression.