Sunday, January 13, 2013

ITP REVIEW: URNA: ITER AD LUCEM

BAND-URNA (ITALY) GENRE-FUNERAL/BLACK/DOOM LABEL-ATMF RELEASE DATE: 3/2/09
PREVIOUS RELEASES (CATALOG): MORS IMPERATRIX MUNDI (EP-2005-Vomitium Niger), JUSTA FUNEBRIA (2005-Vomitium Niger), SEPULCRUM (2006-Vomitium Niger), ITER AD LUCEM (2009-ATMF)


BEST RELEASE: ITER AD LUCEM (2009)



TRACKLISTING: URNA: ITER AD LUCEM:
01. Iter Ad Lucem Pt. I
02. Iter Ad Lucem Pt. II
03. K-Th-R
04. Om
05. Sefira Malkuth
06. (untitled)



ITP RATING: ****
PRODUCTION: ***1/2
SONGWRITING: *** 1/2
PERFORMANCE: ****





I must admit, I have an eclectic fetish for FUNERAL doom and all that is heavy, brutal, slow, crawling at a snails pace with mesmerizing, apocalyptic atmospheres. I was some how turned on to a band that my friends would be sure that I would like, URNA from ITALY. URNA are a blackened funeral doom band from ITALY, crawling at a snails pace, with brutal, atmospheric textures. Perhaps URNA could be a heavier THERGOTHON and SKEPTICISM with the blackened doom influence of NORTT. URNA'sITER AD LUCEM opens with the title track (of sorts) entitled "Iter Ad Lucem Pt. I" with an ominous intro, crawling in at a majestic snails pace, with some power chords from hell..The heaviness is intense. However at 3:39, "Iter Ad Lucem Pt. I" takes an ambient turn, with lightly sprinkled keyboards. URNA employ a mixture of death and screamed vocals as the vocal variety fits fine with the bands heavy, suffocating and bleak atmosphere. "Iter Ad Lucem Pt. I" ends with lightly tinkered piano evoking a despairing, bleak tone to the songs end. "Iter Ad Lucem Pt. II", at 10:16, the longest track on ITER AD LUCEM, is as bleak and depressive as you can get. The snails pace, as in all funeral doom can be trance inducing..

And the serotonin levels in your brain my drop a bit.. At 5:05 of "Iter Ad Lucem Pt. II", URNA drop the floor into a psychedelic, ambient trip out, nothing much to right home about, with again, lightly sprinkled keyboards, as if an old cat was walking on your piano.. However, the ambient part of "Iter Ad Lucem Pt. II" invokes a feeling of bleak dread, as it segues into new age keyboards, and ups the ante on heaviness. Why did this track just fade out..?

"K-Th-R" , explodes as a statement of brutal intent, with some mesmerizing and swirling guitar and keyboard interplay. At 1:37 into "K-Th-R" picks up the pace with the thunderous and an intense momentum from funeral doom to funeral/black doom. I feel the thunderstorm coming, as "K-Th-R" slows back down to powerful funeral doom. This band is BRUTAL, it sounds like every chord played is a crack of thunder and lightening, as URNA have a powerful rhythm section. URNA's "K-Th-R" invokes a dreaded atmosphere of Armageddon or the most awful, hurricane or tornado. "Om" crawls in with an ominous, bleak, lightly picked intro until 1:26, when the reality that YOU are DOOMED as URNA settle in to a funeral doom pace. At 3:36, "Om" segues into double bass drumming, picking up the momentum , and bringing us down into some beautiful ambient textures. \m/


   I like the heavy/soft, atmospheric dynamics that URNA has to offer, and I love the occasional funeral doom to blast beat transitions the variety of such add more to such an apocalyptic atmosphere as the transitions are subtle, but very well defined and important. "SefiraMalkuth" invokes the blackened doom integration, at a faster pace, with screamed black metal vocals...Then, at 2:53 "SefiraMalkuth" walks into a dark abyss of psychotic/psychedelic instrumental drone...The only funeral doom band whom walk this path of psychedelic, paranoia are the GODLY funeral doom heroes ESOTERIC. URNA's "SefiraMalkuth", integrates experimental blackened funeral doom with some psychedelic droning and a good combo of death/black and clean vocals. URNA's ITER AD LUCEM closes with a literally untitled track, instrumental, dark and ambient, exploring the darkest depths and recesses of the human psyche.

URNA's "ITER AD LUCEM" is a musically ambitious release as heavy doesn't describe this Italian funeral doom band, they are BRUTAL. Yet, URNA seamlessly weave brutal funeral doom with black metal elements and psychedelic drone passages. The atmosphere is as suffocating as ESOTERIC (UK) as if you're tied to railroad tracks with a train flying down the rail. I think URNA would benefit off of a wall of sound production, and a slightly higher mix on
the vocals.

URNA are certainly a band with awesome potential and with cohesive songwriting, I can see URNA challenging the "Unholy Trinity of Doom" for the genres top honer.



ITP RATING: ****
PRODUCTION: ***1/2
SONGWRITING: *** 1/2
PERFORMANCE: ****


                                                                                                                                                          Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal-\m/ -l-