Sunday, August 13, 2017
Ursinne - Swim with the Leviathan
Ursinne are a big deal in the death metal world mainly because they feature a certain Dave Ingram whose CV includes Benediction, Bolt Thrower and Hail of Bullets and Jonny Pettersson (from Henry Kane, Wombbath, Just Before Dead and Heads for The Dead).
The music these two make together is old school Swedish death metal. "Devil May Care" is a heavyweight barreling affair that recalls the likes of Entombed to mind as the drums aren't full speed ahead and there's an assured steady beat holding the tempo together rather than threatening or veering off at breakneck speed. The vocals are of the throaty variety rather than the far too overdone Cookie Monster variety. The guitars on "I, Serpentine" bear a resemblance to the buzzsaws that featured in Blackie Lawless' dreams back in the 1980's. They're absolutely in your face and the track pummels along quickly. Ursinne pay tribute to Lemmy in the form of "Bullet Bitten, which features spoken samples from the man himself. The track itself is an energetic death metal blast combined with a Motorhead style vibe.
The cover of The Osmonds track "Crazy Horses" actually works well with death metal grunts however the cover of "Turning Japanese" really isn't a lot better than Six Feet Under's Iron Maiden covers. The death metal treatment of this tune just doesn't work and, even if Kam Lee of Massacre was enlisted neither does it work with "Monsters in the Parasol" as Kam just comes across like an embarrassingly drunk uncle yelling over a karaoke machine. Interestingly though, giving Siouxie and The Banshees "Spellbound" the death metal is an experiment that somehow worked.
"Swim with the Leviathan" is a great death metal album however all of those bonus cover tracks are novelty items that drag this album down and don't let it flow with the same deathly killer blow that could have been delivered if the tunes had been omitted and Ursinne had delivered only their own material. These songs are the reason this album has been knocked down a couple of pegs in the ratings.
Release date: 20 August 2017
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