Urgehal
Through Thick Fog 'Til Death

The grimmest of the grimmity grim and the Kvltest of the Kvlt black metal, and it’s on Southern Lord? Talk about the law of opposites attract. With an ex-Kvist member and current members of Vulture Lord and Asmegin in its ranks, Urgehal as if you could not judge from the cover are a pure and uncompromising old school Norwegian black metal band of the truest order.To be honest, I’m probably not the most qualified to review this spike clad, corpse paint adorned lot, but the fact I tolerated this release (their 4th) should give you an idea of its quality, given my usual dislike for this form of music. Purely directed at fans of Darkthrone, Khold and their ultra grim ilk, Urgehal do show some measure of restraint (“Invasion,” “Dead Cold December,” “Dod, Dod Atter Dod”) and have some unusually lengthy tracks that drag due to the innate single minded stylings, but on the whole it’s a barren yet blistering affair.

Featuring all of the genres stylings in spades; vacant stark production, nihilistic lyrical themes, contorted twisting harmonies and a general sense of loathing for all things living, Urgehal do their thing well, but comes with the usual downfalls; its pretty much directed at a certain fan base with little appeal beyond those that prowl graveyards at night, and of course its intensity is negatively directed (again, look at the cover), which truthfully lost its shock value somewhere around 1991. Still, for those that live for those traits, Through Thick Fog ‘Til Death should fulfill a need. After the cliche rife intro “666,” “Possessed (Raped by Evil)” instantly begins the graven assault followed by the equally merciless “Raise the Symbols of Satan.” Other than the few aforementioned controlled tracks, the album pretty much careens with frosty malevolence from start to finish, peaking with the likes of “Satanic Deathlust,” “Supreme Blasphemy,” “Mankind Murder” and ending with 4 bonus live tracks. No synths, no polish, no interludes, just pure unadulterated musical spite and loathing.

Any inhibitions I have about this album are purely personal and biased by its style, as even I can tell that Through Thick Fog ‘Til Death is worthy example of raw and primal, hate filled black metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 23rd, 2005

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