Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
London Stoner Doom/Sludge trio Urne have long been one of my go to’s for this realm of genre. Armed with former drummer James Cook back at the helm of the kit, I was intrigued to see what would come from newly announced full length album A Feast On Sorrow. It drops on 11th August!
The Flood Came Rushing In introduces the album with some huge riffs through speed bullet thundering of the drums.
“Where do the memories go?” Joe Nally echoes a roar to kickstart off his vocals that narrate an insight on dealing with the realms of old age diseases such as dementia and neurological struggles that slowly introduce a distorted version of life.
The power behind his vocals are propelled by Angus Neyra’s intricate guitaring, hurling through blistering riffs and groove infused harmonies that smash through a thrashy dynamic with James Cook’s pummeling beats.
There’s a shift in a cross over between thrash and sludge elements here and really displays a great showcase for what sort of textures this album holds…
To Die Twice is a whole different level. The doom styles that Urne adopt prominently show here and are beautiful. In that dark, twisted sort of way.
Touches of chuggy riffs and stunning atmospheric melodies spring the blackened slabs of heaviness molding together throughout the track that entwines gunshot beats of pedalwork into the mix to deliver something that’s rather striking… heavy but captivating with twists of deep rooted emotions through Joe’s vocals.
Joe’s roars instill a demanding element, delving deeper into the realms of cognitive decline and the effects surrounding the suffering of such physicalities. This drifts off into a gentle lull and suggests to me the representation of imbalance, the unknown…
A Stumble of Words takes us onto a journey inside the minds eye of distortion, emotion, confusion and lost memories. Encapsulating such sorrow, fond catharsis and chaos all into one is no easy feat but Urne have some of their best song writing in this track.
The shift in tempo between woeful notes and crushing melodies in this track carves a foundation for Angus‘ beautiful fretwork to inject a moment of sombre Acoustics to divert the moods of loneliness and grief before the intensity comes soaring back again with rolling death -esque riffs and complex layers of James’ pedalwork.
A total pendulum of different layers, Its an 11 minute track but let me tell you, this part of the album pulls you deep into its awareness, it is where you’ll find that Urne relay a huge part of their albums story and make it easy to absorb its energy. a powerful offering next to The Flood Came Rushing In.
The Burden displays some heavy layered riffs and here, you can hear some deep and grating bassnotes working with the power of the kit. The chorus takes on an almost blackened doom element and Joe’s injection of gutturals shake the track up, giving another huge slab of heaviness onto it. I think this track is one of the best to display exactly what Urne are capable of on this album.
Kicking off with the aforementioned heavy doom layered riffs that shapeshift into a thrashy element, not dissimilar to early Metallica in places… and then we’re dragged back into doomy riffs and sludgy bassnotes that time with the powerful pace of the double pedals.
Angus’ stunning solo during this track kicks off a rolling storm from James’ complex drumming skills here that gives The Burden a killer further edge of intensity before threatening beats and grating riffs take the stand again before Joe’s subtle wails calm the storm. I absolutely love this track, one of my favourites by far.
Next Becoming The Ocean displays the more blackened elements of Urne with some powerful touches that ignite the speed bullet paced wielding of the kit and temper of riffs to start an aggressive mood before dual vocals submerge the track into a fully emotional assault.
Powerful guitar tones over the riffs and trapping beats take the track into a chaotic spiral before a Heartbeat pause and going full throttle.
The vocals on this track totally encapsulate the emotion over the raw and aggressive notes before all comes to a deathly halt.
Title track A Feast On Sorrow offers an initial hynotising and mysterious piano introduction which injects a total false sense of security before Angus comes in with the most MONSTROUS riffing known to the album.
My feet have just had the floor broken beneath them – falling and sinking into darkness.
I can see why this was the title track – growling vocals rumble through your core talking to us of a first person sight into disease, giving it a voice and exhibiting the feelings, needs, the unknowing of everything surrounding the life living alongside the unknown.
The musicianship here is nothing short of outstanding. Melodic intervals combine with intense ferocity to create a rollercoaster of different emotions and different layers of intensity.
Another complete favourite!!
Peace offers a short solace to the intensity and chaotic battle with ethereal tones and calm strings, though still edges around the disappearance of ones memory. Inciting the question of the unknown…
The Long Goodbye/Where Do The Memories Go? closes the album with a beautiful melodic twist of riffs and harmonies to start off with. Riffs turn sinister alongside Joe’s barking vocals that account the minds eye of losing all sensibility of the subjects current moment in time.
All sense of self awareness. This is a powerful track that displays those emotions with the stunning abilities Urne have of twisting emotions and shapeshifting despair into complex moods and thoughts.
A Feast On Sorrow – a truly stunning new offering from Urne that completely encapsulates the raw emotions, energy and mystery of dealing with some things that we as humans, cannot find the key to preventing.
Touching upon a topic that many find difficult to relate to or comprehend isn’t always an easy path, however Urne have challenged those boundaries and completely displayed a fantastic expression of songwriting that has come from somewhere of truth, pain and understanding. A beautiful album.
SECOND STUDIO ALBUM, A FEAST ON SORROW, SET FOR RELEASE ON AUGUST 11TH 2023 VIA CANDLELIGHT RECORDS