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URNA : Iter ad Lucem

When it came out in 2006, I quite enjoyed with 'Sepulcrum', the previous album from Italian Doom outfit URNA. I think however that it suffers from a lack of intensity and an overall roughness that contradicts what appeared to be the obvious ambitions of the band. With 'Iter ad Lucem', URNA has crafted a successor to 'Sepulcrum' that fulfils all I sensed of the bandís potential. The music takes off at last. It has become more complex and more effective.

How could I categorize the band on this album without diminishing its aura? Funeral Doom would be a little short. Experimental? The band is digging a vein that is already exploited by others, Esoteric being an obvious influence. Atmospheric Doom is vague but more accurate however, for URNA's 'Iter ad Lucem' is made of all that: dark atmospheres, smooth and flowing moods.

From a Black Metal background, URNA kept the incisive accents of the voice, which ranges between husky shrieks and more typically Death grunts, as well as the Black-ish runaway rhythmic conducted by a drum machine that, this time, is perfectly controlled. It brings an sense of emergency that plunges the next instant into viscous swamps.

Contrasts indeed, that's what the band's music is made of. That makes it dynamic and vibrant. It's all together slow and fast, dark and light, pure and unhealthy. The rhythm has an effective mystical power. While 'Sepulcrum' was only an addition of various impressions, they perfectly intersect now, ensuring a greater cohesion to the whole.

The guitarist's playing has obviously been the object of which they took special care. It is much more aerial than before, its leads draw in the warm air some prodigious arabesques which brings the music to stratospheric heights. The magestic pace is obsessive and very compelling.

The Doom of URNA has an obscure psychedelic side. It is a long, feverish journey full of fascinating detours. The Production is also excellent with its muffled grain increasing the mysterious dimension of the band.

'Iter ad Lucem' is an album that really surprised me. It has everything you want: it is haunting, insistent and dark. My only slight complaint would be that if you know Esoteric's music or even the first album of URNA's fellow-countrymen Arcana Coelestia, the resemblances will jump to your ears. That being said, the inner quality of the music that the band offers is so convincing that you can only admire the work.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
01. Iter Ad Lucem pt. I
02. Iter Ad Lucem pt. II
03. K-TH-R
04. Om
05. Sefira Malkuth
06. [untitled]

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the URNA bandpage.

Reviewed on 09-03-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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