Ikonoklast review by Urgehal

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  • Released: Nov 16, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 5.5 (38 votes)
Urgehal: Ikonoklast
4

Sound — 7
Urgehal are what they are; a Norwegian black metal band, playing predominantly Norwegian-style black metal. They've been around long enough to be considered residents' but they still arrived a little late to the Burzum-Mayhem-Darkthrone party so their black filth will rarely stain a pearly-white Wikipedia article. For those who don't base their taste in black metal on Blabbermouth, however, Urgehal have been putting out quality full lengths for quite a while and Ikonoklast', looks to follow suit. Almost instantly we are met with Nefas' blistering lead guitar, which varies from the darkly melodic (Cut Their Tongue Shut Their Prayer') to the whammy-tastic (The Necessity Of Total Genocide'), the latter style being given the credibility that Slayer have been trying their best to destroy for almost 30 years.

Beastly drumming from the now-departed Uruz might be the obvious driving force' behind Ikonoklast' but every member even the new bassist, Mannevond, who valiantly ties together the mix even if one of his rare moments in the limelight is the frankly irritating Kniven Rider Dypt I Natt' advances with purpose in their own way. For a relatively well produced album it's a wonder that the slower sections, which normally suit a bit of fuzz, don't drag or end up being transitions between blastbeats here; in fact the blast is saved only for the biggest and best releases of fury, to the point where it's in danger of being underutilised.

Lyrics — 8
Traditional BM topics are not just things that Urgehal write about; they're part of the band's defiance of what they call neo black metal'; a movement of more well-known artists who supposedly ignore the genre's roots in hate, misanthropy and, uh, penetrating delicious little nuns if 1998's Supreme Evil' is anything to go by. Anyway, what I'm saying is that Urgehal's lyrical craft runs on a pretty simplistic diet of Satan and his hi-jinks, so you pretty much know what you're going to get. Vocally, Nefas is strong - if a little sporadic particularly when ushering in a new section with a nice passionate shriek.

Overall Impression — 7
Is this Urgehal's best? No, but it ain't half bad. You could nitpick and say it's a little long, a little inconsistent...but then it's also got songs like Holocaust In Utopia' and The Necessity Of Total Genocide', both of which are professionally executed demonstrations of how to make delicious black metal. Absolutely worth getting for fans, as well as for those who are curious but Ikonoklast' will not be considered amongst the releases from bands like Immortal, Csejthe or Otargos when black metal stands up to be counted for 2009.

55 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Kikuta
    People that rate bands based on their looks as opposed to the music need to be drowned. Case in point: half the people posting in this comment section.
    Cambyses
    I'm a huge death metal fan, this article's got me curious about black metal. Pat yourself on the back.
    Check out Peste Noire - Folk**** Folie, Belenos - Spicilege, Burzum - Filosofem and Angantyr/Nasheim - Split for some good BM
    kamjam7
    i'm glad someone's putting forth atleast standard black metal still. not huge fan of black metal, but heard immortal a while ago, and getting used to it now. I think this genre has the potential to become generally liked, except for everyone thinks it died in the 90's, but hey good for these guys.
    CurbstompBass
    I like black metal a lot more than death metal, to be honest. This is a pretty good review for a decent album by a decent band.
    Burning_Angel
    FearOfTheDuck wrote: alkalineweeman wrote: FearOfTheDuck wrote: They look ridiculous! I don't see how people take black metal seriously. I draw the line at Death Metal, because they don't look silly and the music is better. If you're in it for the fashion then maybe X-Factor is more your cup of tea, personaly i'm not a HUGE fan of black metal but dabbled a bit in it in my younger days but obviously a great number of people like it (need something to warm your bones on those cold scandinavian evenings) Good review btw. Mate i'm not in it for the fashion, black metal is just ridiculous. "Look how fast i can do this blast beat, check my awesome corpse paint, oh and satan rules!". I like early death metal because its actually got some rhythm to it, not just blast beats and some bastard screaming about satan every song. That pretty much sums up Black Metal. Just my opinion.
    Oh ignorance, rearing it's ugly head once again. I wont debate with you, I'll merely say that clearly, you haven't listened to much bm. Negura Bunget, Farsot, Drudkh, Arcturus... Before you write off an entire genre, at the very least get somewhat educated on the matter.
    RJA_7
    Everyone should just listen to the music and give their opinion without bitching about the entire genre. This is for people that listen to the band so if you dont like them, dont read the review
    IIVV
    Does it matter? Seems to me that all metal fans are posers these days. All I'm interested in is a death song that is challenging enough for me to bother learning... and a black song with a cool ambience and progression to chill out to.
    GenerationKILL
    [quote]I listen to black metal because of the variety in style between bands/quote] really? and what variety is that? the shades of black they wear along with the corpse paint which adds to the varied "shock value?" Or maybe the post alternative view of "**** the world?" Black metal shares many lame simularities to eighties hair metal, they're both filled with overblown excesses and many, many bands are interchangable. I like to think of that south park episode featuring those goth kids who claim they don't conform to anything, albeit the realization they're actually conforming to SOMETHING.
    Survivalism
    Toolshed#9 wrote: MLMKR wrote: Jhnny wrote: huevos wrote: You spelt "troo" wrong. In fact, you spelt trve/tr00 wrong *facepalm* haha, you guys both spelled "spelt" wrong. The amount of collective fail is just here is awesome, you can write the past tense of "spell" both as "spelt" and "spelled".
    You can write it as "asdlhweqt48," too, that doesn't make it right.
    sgtpppr5477ROCK
    i draw the line at megadeth, metallica, slayer n pantera this death metal n black shit sux so fukin much
    nevermore97
    [quote]People that rate bands based on their looks as opposed to the music need to be drowned. Case in point: half the people posting in this comment section./quote] this
    joeabstract
    Metal is Metal plain and simple. Why does everyone have to try and prove each other wrong? Its almost impossible to get a completely right answer. Everyone has their own opinion and preference. and if you dont like black metal, why even bother reading this article or commenting.
    kannon
    really? and what variety is that? the shades of black they wear along with the corpse paint which adds to the varied "shock value?" Or maybe the post alternative view of "**** the world?" Black metal shares many lame simularities to eighties hair metal, they're both filled with overblown excesses and many, many bands are interchangable. I like to think of that south park episode featuring those goth kids who claim they don't conform to anything, albeit the realization they're actually conforming to SOMETHING.
    black metal bands dont clame too not conform. black metal is all about the history and paying homage to the bands that pioneered it.
    ML7
    Yeah, pretty dumb people bashing on BM. Who do you have the right to judge people taste? At the same time, people who dont even listen to Metal, think metal is bad and too "dark" to listen to and all about violence and etc. You guys are just being hypocrites. And if you gonna judge a genre, know what your talking about, and never judge quickly. Yeah, Ive been listen to lot of Death Metal and this made me wana Listen to some black metal now. Any Good bands I should start out listening to? Thanks.
    Idiot_Son
    The^Unforgiven wrote: humperdunk wrote: no, i think what they wear is a reflection of how retarded they are. Sure, but even retards can make music, so it shouldn't matter how the musicians look like or who they are.
    if it didn't matter what they looked like, they wouldn't bother dressing up and wearing crazy makeup. its all part of the BM 'charm'. I myself am not a huge fan of BM or DM, but there are songs here and there i don't mind...
    Emenius Sleepus
    the fact that half of the people just looked at corpsepaint and went "well BM is just a bunch of painted retards" didn't help their own levels of ignorance, surely
    metal4life592
    ITT: People who know next to nothing about black metal make sweeping generalizations. Seriously though, good review. I need to check this album out for sure.
    krvolok
    Great review, Honestly debating abut black and death metal and which is the better genre is a waste of breath,both are great,and their doom counterparts as well. Death metal is like the slasher films that are the pillar of death,nice,always a lot of gore and of course tall swedish blondes and cheesy music ,black is like those Romero - Carpenter movies where violence is in the background and there is little dialogue,with a lot more atmosphere. True Black metal fans should not be offended by a mere slur,blah,though small the black fanbase is alive and well,even in the misty and gray backwaters of my homeland.
    LORD ARENA
    What do you want from the Black Metal? Technique (Especially Drum & Bass) Sense Philosophy Reality oriented What else should be in the music? (Black Metal is a miracle) Only Black Metalllll Be careful though there's a lot of really bad best bands of BM EMPEROR DIMMU BORGIR (WITH ORCHESTRA) BEHEMOTH BATHORY VENOM MAYHEM ZYKLON DISSEC TION SAMAEL LORD BELIAL DARK THRONE ARCTURUS & ...
    Cambyses
    I'm a huge death metal fan, this article's got me curious about black metal. Pat yourself on the back.
    Check out Peste Noire - La Sanie Des Siecles
    RJA_7
    Wow... all you people bashing a genre because of the bands appearance are just plain stupid. You should listen to a band and judge them by their music and not give a shit what they look like. And not all Black Metal sings about satan nor do they all burn churches. Im not that big of a Black Metal fan, but I'm not going to say a band sucks or a genre of music is stupid before I actually listen to it.
    FearOfTheDuck
    They look ridiculous! I don't see how people take black metal seriously. I draw the line at Death Metal, because they don't look silly and the music is better.
    martyrofevil
    Everyone around here seems to have a very stereotypical view on black metal. I listen to black metal because of the variety in style between bands. It's not all satan, corpsepaint and grim frostiness! Who cares if a band sings about satan lyrics are the least important part of music. If you want a nice flowing verse go read some poetry I want to hear some music personally. Try listening to Sigh's "Hail Horror Hail" or Solefald's "The Linear Scaffold" or even Peste Noire's "La Sanie des siecles" before pigeon-holing an entire genre.
    alkalineweeman
    FearOfTheDuck wrote: They look ridiculous! I don't see how people take black metal seriously. I draw the line at Death Metal, because they don't look silly and the music is better.
    If you're in it for the fashion then maybe X-Factor is more your cup of tea, personaly i'm not a HUGE fan of black metal but dabbled a bit in it in my younger days but obviously a great number of people like it (need something to warm your bones on those cold scandinavian evenings) Good review btw.
    humperdunk
    alkalineweeman wrote: FearOfTheDuck wrote: If you're in it for the fashion then maybe X-Factor is more your cup of tea, personaly i'm not a HUGE fan of black metal but dabbled a bit in it in my younger days but obviously a great number of people like it (need something to warm your bones on those cold scandinavian evenings) Good review btw.
    no, i think what they wear is a reflection of how retarded they are.
    ingames
    Their clothes and style is ridiculous. Their music is simplistic most of the time and nothing to be compared to the awesome technicalities of death metal. Ipso ergo, black metal sux.
    EmancipatedSoul
    Wow. Most of the people I know that listen to death metal are actually quite intelligent. Seriously; if you don't like the music and just want to bitch and moan, go do it somewhere else. This article is for people who like the music, not for you. Such bigots, honestly. Also; Urgehal have never attracted my attention really. This album has a few good songs though. Good review!
    FearOfTheDuck
    alkalineweeman wrote: FearOfTheDuck wrote: They look ridiculous! I don't see how people take black metal seriously. I draw the line at Death Metal, because they don't look silly and the music is better. If you're in it for the fashion then maybe X-Factor is more your cup of tea, personaly i'm not a HUGE fan of black metal but dabbled a bit in it in my younger days but obviously a great number of people like it (need something to warm your bones on those cold scandinavian evenings) Good review btw.
    Mate i'm not in it for the fashion, black metal is just ridiculous. "Look how fast i can do this blast beat, check my awesome corpse paint, oh and satan rules!". I like early death metal because its actually got some rhythm to it, not just blast beats and some bastard screaming about satan every song. That pretty much sums up Black Metal. Just my opinion.
    EpiExplorer
    Josh_crosby wrote: ingames wrote: Their clothes and style is ridiculous. Their music is simplistic most of the time and nothing to be compared to the awesome technicalities of death metal. Ipso ergo, black metal sux. I cuncur, and so does everyone else that isnt't tone deaf. The only reason lots of people like it is most of the bands are anti-christian. And it gives those poor little reatded kids something to believe in. haha And they know they are cool cuz they burn churches in their spare time.(that sounds so fun)SARCASM.
    All this borrowed latin is clogging up the grammar stream. Still, like we need anymore baby stabbing music.. review was a little bit over inflated. Sort of expected everyone to like/understand the 'tr00ly grimness' of BM. We dont, we cant, and we honestly dont want to.
    The^Unforgiven
    humperdunk wrote: no, i think what they wear is a reflection of how retarded they are.
    Sure, but even retards can make music, so it shouldn't matter how the musicians look like or who they are.
    scr3w f3nd3r
    you should be intelligent if you listen to death metal. The kids that just listen to the screaming and think there so freaking hardcore is ridiculous. listen to the MUSIC, the guitars, the drums! theyre amazing in a helluva lot of metal bands.
    RUIN717
    way to waste ur time hating on something other like, its cool if you dont like it but if you dont there is no reason to beat it down for those that do. dont be a nazi
    duncang
    EpiExplorer wrote: Still, like we need anymore baby stabbing music.. review was a little bit over inflated. Sort of expected everyone to like/understand the 'tr00ly grimness' of BM. We dont, we cant, and we honestly dont want to.
    Audience and purpose. This isn't a black metal sales pitch, it's not aimed at people like you who aren't into it. I don't expect everyone to like black metal; I expect everyone to have enough common sense not to be bothered by this review if they don't. Also like to thank whoever over at the UG Offices chose to use a picture of Enzifer on the homepage; it sure has got people reading!
    Nergal22691
    Audience and purpose. This isn't a black metal sales pitch, it's not aimed at people like you who aren't into it. I don't expect everyone to like black metal; I expect everyone to have enough common sense not to be bothered by this review if they don't.
    You are wise sir! And btw people it is possible to like both black metal and death metal. For the record a lot of black metal these days is not about satan. Pretty cool band
    Cerelil
    GRIM AND FROSTBITTEN TRVE KVTL BLAECK METALL! SO INVERTED ITS THE RIGHT WAY UP AGAIN! ALL GLORY TO THE NECROWIZARD! HAILZ! I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS MY EMPIRES IS NO LIMITS.
    DukeFame
    ingames : Their clothes and style is ridiculous. Their music is simplistic most of the time and nothing to be compared to the awesome technicalities of death metal. Ipso ergo, black metal sux.
    I don't think its fair to generalize any genre into being completely"retarded." It took me a while to get into BM it is an acquired taste , true bands like Darkthrone can be extremely primitive (technically) but on the other hand you've got bands like Emperor and Immortal who's music is more technical. Also the lines between BM and Death Metal are so skewered these days to claim allegiance to death metal as though you're on some opposite team is rediculous I think you'll find alot of your favorite death metal musicians listen to BM and Vice Versa. Also saying "retarded" isn't very nice, good day to you.
    Jøhnny
    huevos wrote: You spelt "troo" wrong.
    In fact, you spelt trve/tr00 wrong *facepalm*
    Xx_banx
    Jhnny wrote: huevos wrote: You spelt "troo" wrong. In fact, you spelt trve/tr00 wrong *facepalm*
    EREV777
    gee plz some Rod Stewart ahah no, i love him tho, but death metal over black metal