Swim With the Leviathan

On paper, I should be super pumped about Ursinne, (Swedish for ‘fury’) a project featuring Dave Ingram (Benediction, Downlord, Down Among the Dead Men, Echelon) and Jonny Pettersson (Ashcloud, Henry Kane, Gods Forsaken, Wombbath, Just Before Dawn, etc) rounded out by bassist Sonia Nusselder. Even more so when I heard Kam Lee (Massacre) makes an appearance. But I can’t help but be a little disappointed in the end result.

Don’t get me wrong, This sounds exactly as you’d expect; an huge beefy, Swedish guitar tone with huge, Benediction-y mid range riffs and grooves and Ingram’s distinct bellow. But it’s not about the quality, it’s more about quantity and well, song choice. You See, Swim With the Leviathan has 12 songs, but 4 are covers. And that’s the issue really. I don’t mind covers, but here they are very left field ones; you get a cover of The Osmonds “Crazy Horses”, The Vapors “Turning Japanese, Queens of the Stone Age’s “Monsters in the Parasol” (even with Kam Lee on a wasted guest appearance) and finally Souisxie and the Banshees’ “Spell bound”. All certainly brave, bold choices, and I’m sure, personal to Ingram and Pettersson and dare I say fun choices, but a third of the album is a little much.

Adding to that, is the rest of the material isn’t exactly up to par with the core duo’s other projects. Other than opening, hefty canter of “Devil May Care”, which has a pretty darn classic Benediction styled romp, there is little else here that sticks. These are clearly Petterson’s and Ingram’s least memorable songs in their many projects, coming across like Rogga Johansson band cast offs. The likes of “Hollow Hearse”, “Bullet Bitten”, “Talons” or “Underworld” are just ‘OK’. “I, Serpentine”, like the opener is a fun little romper and the “The Chimes of Midnight” has a nice little swing to it, but there is little else, like they are afterthoughts to the covers and some of Ingram’s left over Downlord riffs.

Still, the guitar tone is bruising as hell, Ingram sounds great (even when growling “Turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think sooo) and the covers are indeed unique if you are into that sort of thing, and they were clearly the catalyst for this project. I’m curious what comes next- more covers or more of a focus on original songs that have a little more quality.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 6th, 2017


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