Ur Draugr – The Wretched Ascetic [Australia, Black/Death] (2015)

Self Released | 1-5-15

Self Released | 1-5-15

From this moment forward, the visual style of pop surrealism as seen in the work of Jeff Christensen should always be used to compliment the sound of complex black / death. I cant imagine how we have gotten to this moment without it these two walking hand and hand. Though my raving of artwork is to be expected, it is enhanced when I feel the visual compliments the music perfectly. Ur Draugr is a lesser known band from Australia who has taken it upon themselves to release a stellar EP by their own hard working hands.

Though The Wretched Ascetic is only 20 minutes, the experience of Ur Draugr feels longer if not more complete than 20 minutes. At only 3 songs, the band more presents a 20 minute introdiction to eh possibility of an eternity spent on another plane. I was making mention of the artowrk complimenting the music as The Wretched Ascetic is similar to falling backwards into an alien world — a place where harsh tonality can be structured in complex patterns. The Wretched Ascetic is complicated yet the band makes ever effort in making it seem normal.

If anything, the The Wretched Ascetic’s title track was the song which cemented my judgement for the release and the band. Here the introduction to the 11 minute track is marked by walkways of rhythmic drums and ghoulish cries. The tension and release demonstrated by the band is remarkable because it comes so unexpectedly. This is a release which could have been good is just a standard blistering black/death. The fact that it is gauged so effectively makes it nothing short of fantastic. Part of me celebrates this release but the other half wants it to be a full length if not a double album.