UR or the aurochs is the extinct primeval wild form of the cow. It’s also a German prefix used to indicate that things are primitive, unspoiled, ancient, original or essential. It’s the name of a mandaean demon, the king of darkness and antagonist of Mana Rabba, the king of light. And it’s the name of the four piece German band from Leipzig playing psychedelic doom and post-metal. Their music is as massive as the aurochs and as dark and arcane as the demon. Grey Wanderer is UR’s sophomore album and will be available as CD, LP and digitally via Droneburg Records and follows up their critically acclaimed self titled debut album, which was released in 2013.
This is 44 minutes and 4 songs of elemental force. UR create thick and richly textured, multilayered soundscapes unfolding in huge build ups that hold their tension throughout the entire length of the songs (9 minutes the shortest and 13 minutes the longest). Massive, droney doom riffs are permeated by guitar melodies that are surprisingly fragile at times and add even more depth to the songs’ structures, lend subtle nuances, glimpses of light and hope or a sense of calm and clear serenity to the overall atmosphere of dark desperation, cold fear and loneliness. The vocals are bellowed out fiercely, but used moderately in amount and kept quite low in the mix. This way they work as a structurising and accentuating element as well as they provide the space and the time for the lyrics they convey to sink in, correspond with the sound and let their symbolic and metaphorical powers work. Images of nature’s inhospitality, dangers and forces, the search for strategies to cope with them combine with the ponderous intensity of the music and the journey through the sound/land scapes may as well turn into a journey through your own inner scapes, to the core, to something essential …to the “UR” of yourself.
The album is available for pre-order through here. Listen to the album in full here below.
Photo credit: Gunnar Nitsche