URN - Iron Will of Power
Release date Sept 20/19 (Season of Mist)
Iron Will of Power represents the first Urn listening experience for this metalhead, despite the band being in existence since 1997, having four previous full lengths under their belts and playing one of my fave underground metal styles (black/thrash). Not sure why the Finnish unit remained below my radar, but I'm damned pleased to have come across them now, albeit relatively late in the game.
Opener 'Downfall of Idols' immediately grabbed me by the cojones, its blast-beat fueled black/thrash, replete with a repeated "On your knees!!!" refrain (that had this jaded reviewer screaming along in unison), and a grinding breakdown section, setting my neck muscles to work. Triumphant hatred put to tape - excellent. Other highlight tracks would be the similarly powerful 'Prayers' ("oh-oh-oh-oh" background vocal support on this one), the atypical 'Spears of Light' and the pulsating 'Demonlord'.
What sets Urn apart from their competitors is their ability to write memorable material that will appease the hardened hordes, but will also appeal to those who don't visit the sub-genre regularly. They're not afraid to take chances, including inserting a folk metal chorus on one track ('Spears of Light'), applying some heavy trad metal rhythm sections and some amazing, clean guitar soloing. Love the hearty, lusty vocals too, a lascivious growl not too far removed from Cronos (Venom) territory. Impressive!