ILLT – Urhat (Review)

ILLT - UrhatThis is the debut album from one-man Norwegian blackened extreme metal project ILLT.

This solo act is rounded out by session musicians from such notable bands as Megadeth, Soilwork, Nile, and Chrome Division. There’s 36 minutes of material on Urhat containing a modern blackened mix of death metal, thrash, hardcore, and splashes of doom and hard rock.

There’s a lot to unpack on these songs. Each track has a lot going on, and it is all very enjoyable indeed. Melodic death metal collides with modern metal groove. Jagged thrash attitude becomes laced with hard rock swagger. Crushing doom gives way to serrated blast beats. Energetic hardcore d-beats terminate in a flurry of sharp black metal. The blurring and merging of genres and styles would not necessarily work in lesser hands, but here it all fuses together holistically to give rise to six metal songs that sing the praises of extreme metal loud and clear.

The songs are full of meaty riffs, which stitch together the various genres with ease. The songs work by virtue of strong songwriting; extremity and brutality work well only because of melodic counterpoints and dynamic energies. The artist behind this work clearly knows his extreme metal, and Urhat is finely realised.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the session musicians are of such high calibre either. The performances are as flawless and adept as you would expect. Also, after strong recent releases by Act of Denial and The Night Flight Orchestra, it’s great to hear the singer, (also of Soilwork), indulge his harsher, more brutal singing talents once more, (his delivery here is caustic and passionate).

Urhat is a strong debut release. The fiery blackened melodies, crisp substantial riffs, sterling performances, and quality songwriting all deliver an album that’s well worth absorbing time and time again.

Highly recommended.

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