Abaddon magazine

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Review: Urfeind – Wraiþaz

Label: Self released

Date: January 21st, 2021

There was a time when you could pinpoint a German band at first glance. Well, at first spin. Somehow, Germans have made their particular stamp on the black metal scene very early on, becoming a third distinguishable force within the spectrum. After Norwegians and Greeks, of course. However, we’ve come to an age when there are Viking metal bands coming from Brazil, Middle Eastern influences within US acts, and Slavic, pagan metal tendencies in Canada. Globalization at its best, right?

Thus, I get to Urfeind. A decade or so back, I could’ve sworn this band is coming from Poland. Mgła being the primary influence to its sonic delivery. A decade later, it is obvious how much the Poles have managed to uphold the genre.

Now, not to be misunderstood, Urfeind is not completely derivative, even if it is strongly influenced by Mgła. These connotations mostly come from the dense atmosphere surrounding this EP. Also, these high-pitched lead guitars bear some common denominators. The German act manages to keep to their homeland based black metal to a certain degree as well. That is probably the key to the impact these four tracks have on the listener. They have managed to diversify the traditional German minimalism within the genre, without slipping too far into instrumental experimentation. Though “Wraiþaz“ is mostly dedicated to the misanthropic and anti-cosmic sentiments (at least judging from the track titles), there is an audible heathen, Scandinavian note to it. Think of early Kampfar here.

The winning feature for Urfeind could very well be the compositional skill. The individual tracks have a meaningful flow to them and offer a variety of parts and pieces combined to eliminate the overly repetitive side that has too often made similar releases extremely dull. The songs hold within themselves many rhythm changes, at least a couple of distinguishable riffing patterns and a bass line that is fairly employed in the overall resultant.

However, all of the above mentioned advantages are somewhat lost in the general picture “Wraiþaz“ portrays. I’m not just speaking about the almost amateurish execution of the cover artwork. What Urfeind is definitely missing is a hook that will keep the listeners glued to their respective speakers. Attentive listeners will definitely manage to recognize the tracks apart of one another, and the parts they are made of can stand their ground. But not for long. It is all fine and dandy while the EP is spinning, yet once it has stopped, these songs simply vanish into thin air.

Having in mind that this release comes less than a year after the previous full length material, it could simply be the case of underdevelopment. After this audition, it is quite clear that Urfeind has more than enough to offer. It is simply a matter of formulating their creative effort into songs that will captivate their fans to the point of utter worship.