Polish label Via Nocturna has had a busy year, and they’ve been responsible for quite a few of the quality underground releases over the last few months. This looks to continue with the sophomore release from Norway’s Uburen, ‘Frå døden fødes liv’, which is due out on October 31st. Formed in 2010, the group has released an EP and full length independently before connecting up with Via Nocturna. Like some of their peers, Uburen pulls from that familiar second-wave sound, but they weave everything together in a manner that doesn’t feel nearly as derivative and generic. Today we’re premiering the fifth song from ‘Frå døden fødes liv’, Som Var, so you can hear for yourself the power and aggression Uburen is capable of bringing to the table.
There are a lot of different tempos and elements throughout the nine tracks on ‘Frå døden fødes liv’, but Som Var is one where the band chooses to slow things down a bit and let the abrasive edges and underlying melodies drive things forward. Although the song structure is sure to remind listeners of some of the other Norwegian black metal bands out there, what immediately stood out to me is the amount of power behind the instrumentals. Where a lot of other black metal might let thinner guitars dominate the recording with abrasive melodies, all of the instrumentation on this song has a good deal of weight behind it. With the guitar, bass, and drums working in tandem to hit the listener with an immense amount of force, it makes the abrasive melodies that hover over top of them feel even more powerful and leaves a lasting impression. Black metal is often hyper focused on being as noisy and abrasive as possible, but there’s a bit of clarity here that gives Uburen a different sound than the typical second-wave worshipper. It’s also worth mentioning the vocal performance, which lumbers forth with harsh shrieks and screams that cut through your speakers. These are complemented by some backing vocals that are a bit cleaner and have a chanted feel to them, which adds some variation into the mix.
Som Var may be one of the more straightforward pieces on ‘Frå døden fødes liv’, but that certainly doesn’t lessen its impact. With a muscular feel that almost reminds me of death metal at times mixed with the abrasive, icy melodies one expects from black metal, Uburen makes a strong impression. There’s a lot more to discover on the rest of the album, and if you’re a fan of black metal and don’t want the usual tremolo worship the whole way through this one is worth checking out. ‘Frå døden fødes liv’ releases on Via Nocturna October 31st.