This is Viking-themed Black Metal with hints of Death Metal thrown into the mix here and there. Heavier than the norm for this style, Uburen play to the more extreme side of the Viking sub-genre.
The vocals alternate between Black Metal screams, rasps and deeper growls, with some spoken word and other styles making the odd appearance. The singer puts in a great performance and his vocals are quite varied compared to most monotonous vocalists who have maybe one or two sounds at most that they make.
The guitars are rhythmically melodic, stirring up the appropriate emotions and have a good double bass foundation that they build their songs on top of. This is not pseudo-commercial fodder, this is the real deal. Rather than the heroic songs and style-over-substance façade of most Viking/Pagan bands, Uburen have got to the blood and guts of the matter and their interpretation of the genre is altogether dirtier and heavier.
There are some really enjoyable, powerful scything Black Metal moments on this release and the combination of the higher/deeper vocals merely enhances this.
Imagine Enslaved if they were less Progressive and more aggressive, or maybe Amon Amarth if they used Black Metal as the basis for their sound rather than Death Metal.
Uburen deserve a wider audience than they’re probably going to get. You can help remedy this however – check out Withered Roots today and feel the blood run hot through your veins once more.
Favourite Track: Asmegin. Fast and furious.