London metal newcomers URNE deliver a deliciously brutal mass of thrashy, sludgy riffs cast against surprisingly melodic vocals that have us very excited about this brand new band.
Formed out of the ashes of Hang The Bastard, the trio of Joseph Nally (vocals and bass), Angus Neyra (guitar) and Rich Wiltshire (drums) have swiftly carved their own metal sound on debut EP The Mountain of Gold, which was released last month. Elements of 70s metal offer a nod to Joe wanting to create something that sounded like a combination of his favourite bands from that era, and they’re combined with heavier driving riffs that are epitomised by a guest appearance from Architects guitarist Josh Middleton on the EP’s closing track.
As Joe explains: “When we first started writing for the EP I really wanted to write something that sounds like Danzig, Thin Lizzy, The Sword and High on Fire. So I would say something like a mix of those bands. Metallica is a big one band-wise, Jason Newsted was my hero growing up. Vocally, growing up Jesse Leach (Killswitch Engage) was a huge inspiration to me! The passion and power he has is key for me. I am also massively influenced by Glenn Hughes and Sam Cooke.
“To be honest, I get lots of influence from watching Angus play and write music. He takes more time to craft what he wants and has a clear vision of what is needed. Me, I just write a riff and give it to him to make sound better, ha! And theme-wise, I don’t really like writing about personal issues, politics etc… Our lyrics are very fantasy based I guess.”
The EP kicks off in fine style with a big low-tuned riff in the intro to Dust Atlas. A stabby repeated lone guitar riff kicks in, a cheeky little bass twist joins it, then we dive into a big thrashy section of pounding chords that it’s physically impossible not to pump your head along to. A section of drawn out guitars answered by high-pitched flourishes give way to an opening verse of screamed vocals.
More melodic, somewhat haunting vocals take over alongside an eerie instrumental backdrop, before jumping back into the heavy verse. A second chorus drops into a gloomy section of creepy noises over slow drums then the big chunky, thrashy riff kicks in to see the song to a headbanging end over a big cry of “My soul is on fire.” Check it out in the video below:
Next, The Lady & The Devil opens up with driving drums over drawn-out guitars, then a big thrashy riff takes centre stage. Echoey clean vocals come in over the top then lead into a delicious singalong chorus of “I know what I know, And I know what I saw, That lady’s dancing with the devil, Make her dance no more.” The big chunky riff returns and a more intense second verse follows, then a really cool 70s metal-esque solo takes over and drops into more haunting guitars and cries of “The lady and the devil.” Check it out in the video below:
A darting guitar riff kicks off title track Mountain of Gold and gives way to a very Metallica infused thrashy intro then big chugging chords feed into an opening verse of shouty vocals that feed into clean vocals through the chorus. The thrashy chords pound their way throughout this intense track, but give way to a really cool Thin Lizzy-esque guitar solo mid-way through that soon drops into a prolonged driving riff that makes you want to smack your head through the nearest wall / table / breakable object.
The EP closes out with potentially its heaviest offering The March Towards The Sun, which opens up with a staccato guitar riff with cheeky smashes of cymbal under an intense barrage of screamed vocals. Drawn out guitar chords lead into a huge scream, then jumps relentlessly into another hard-hitting verse. An epic guitar solo takes over then drops into a brief pause for breath with laid-back guitars, and gradually builds up towards a smash of repeating guitar chords. They’re soon joined by high-pitched laid-back vocals that give way to huge atmospheric guitars that bring the EP to a close.
On the EP, Joe tells us: “It has gone down so well, it has really surprised us. We know there is lots of potential within this band and can’t wait for people to hear what we have down for the next record. And for those who have not checked it out yet, I guess just expect big riffs with some very slight prog elements.”
Those big riffs are prominent throughout what is a truly exciting debut effort from the trio, exuding masses of dark atmospheric metal in equal measure to raw filthy, sludgy yet groove-filled thrash. Yet URNE have no intention to rest on their laurels following its release. They have a few tours upcoming that are still to be announced, and they’re already well ahead of the game on a follow-up record, for which they already have three songs completed.