Review from Wonderbox Metal

Posted by Hypnotic Dirge Records on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 Under: English
From: Wonderbox Metal
Published: July 25, 2023

Urbain are a black metal band from the US and this is their debut album.

With a description of urban black metal, and a recommendation for fans of Emperor, White Ward, early Dimmu Borgir, and Cradle of Filth, I was intrigued to hear what Urbain had to offer. The fact that the band contain members of Ovnev and Wills Dissolve was further reason, if any were needed.

It turns out that the band references above are a good starting point for Urbain’s music, letting the listener know that A Soul Purged walks worlds both in the past and the present. To this list I’d also add bands such as Limbonic Art, Anguis Dei, Numenorean, and Necronautical as well. There’s a touch of Imperial Triumphant here too, spiritually, if not musically.

Across A Soul Purged‘s running time Urbain craft bleak soundscapes of dystopian existence. The band’s symphonic black metal is well-written, and combines the ancient templates of the style set down in the early 90s, with a more contemporary vision for the genre. Urbain take in an urban outlook and include modern touches in their sound, resulting in a fusion of old and new that conveys their vision of societal breakdown well.

A Soul Purged has a duration of 41 minutes, but despite having nine tracks, there are only actually five songs here. Four are interludes, each lasting no more than two minutes in total. However, before you immediately turn off, (as I almost did), here these interludes have a lot more musical value and merit than most, which is a rare thing to behold, (although I still question why some of them just weren’t included as part of the song that they’re obviously the intro for). They also succeed in contributing a post-black metal feel to the album.

There’s a diversity of character across the album, with each track portraying a different facet of civil decay or urban horror. Darkly atmospheric, and draped in sorrow and despair, A Soul Purged is a near-lightless record that nonetheless finds shading and colour amidst the misery and woe. The album’s orchestral elements do much to add these layered textures, as do the rich guitar leads and solos. It’s clear that Urbain know what they’re doing with their music.

The vocals consist of harsh high pitched screams, deeper daemonic growls, and occasionally expressive clean singing. It’s a delivery that’s as diverse as the music is, and I like what the singers are capable of.

A Soul Purged is a satisfying album of old-school symphonic black metal, with a modern twist.

Highly recommended.

In : English 

Tags: "urbain" "urban black metal" "a soul purged" "symphonic black metal" "melodic black metal" "progressive black metal" 

Released: July 28, 2023
Genre: Melodic Black Metal

ORDER LP (soon)