After releasing two EPs, URNE are now ready to launch into their first full-length effort, ‘Serpent & Spirit’. Will they choke us to death, or blind us with glory?
Opening with wailing guitars and classic solos, you might expect to be dealt a dose of power metal. Thankfully that’s not the case in the titular track, as it’s swiftly despatched by a straight-up riot of metalcore meets hardcore interlaced with moments of clean choruses.
Starting off with a standard set of classic eighties riffs, ‘The Palace Of Devils And Wolves’ again takes a surprising turn. This time it’s down the American hardcore route, with a set of bouncing grooves and direct roars from vocalist Joe Nally who is clear and intelligible throughout.
Not afraid to ditch the vocals and go fully instrumental, ‘Memorial’ is aptly titled as it takes you on a journey through pretty much all of the eighties and nineties metal heroes, from Alice In Chains to Megadeth. Each source of inspiration gets its own little section, but it still gels as a cohesively progressive piece.
Showing that they aren’t just a one trick pony, ‘Envy The Dead’ is a brief blast of gothic rock meets metal. With rifling kick pedals and smashing snares, it’s a nice change of pace from the often-lengthy times in other parts.
Re-invigorating post-metal, ‘Memorial: Sing Me To Rest’ is a lonesome and plodding affair that explodes into a furore of thrashing riffs and cymbals that is creative and another great variance of atmosphere.
‘Serpent & Spirit’ has so many surprises and unexpected turns that even at a fifty-three-minute run time it doesn’t get stale or boring. So many things are introduced and thrown out the door within each piece you don’t get time to consider what just happened. Things can only get better with successive releases if URNE can produce this kind of quality and creativity.