HAAR / UR DRAUGR – Split
|Band:||Haar / Ur Draugr|
|Title:||Haar / Ur Draugr|
|Country||Regno Unito / Australia|
If you have been following Aristocrazia Webzine for a while, you might probably already know something about these two projects currently housed in the Italian label ATMF. We met the Scottish combo Haar with their debut "The Wayward Ceremony" in 2015, while it was because of "With Hunger Undying" in the Australian trio Ur Draugr's case. In short, I cannot hide a certain interest on my part when I learned about this split release in the Fall of 2016.
Just like in the case of Haar's previous album, also this time it was the omnipresent Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu to create the visuals of the cover, and we can certainly notice some continuity with the style of that work. This record features three tracks between six and eight minutes long by Haar — quite a conventional length for this specific branch of progressive black metal — and a much longer song by Ur Draugr (about twenty minutes).
This time, all the song titles are quite concise for the Scottish band, delivering three devastating blows à la Deathspell Omega, that all fans of "The Wayward Ceremony" will very likely enjoy. Congratulations for the quite tortuous guitar work by Martin and Oliver, weaving ghastly veils on the creepy and extremely solid background built by the drums and bass (particularly evident in "Architects"). Above this complicated sonic pattern, the vocalist Cook struggles to seek the strings that seem to rule human life.
As for the Australian participants, "The Vista Profunda" is a much longer song than the ones included in "With Hunger Undying", and this task required a different approach. The trio divided this suite in three "movements" and they played their hand really well, quite close to the musical world pictured by the last decade's Enslaved, but at the same time they were able to create something ultimately personal. There is a very interesting atmospheric break in "II: In Somnis Veritas" before the song enters the utter destruction of the final section. Ur Draugr continue their own tormented search of a deep meaning to existence, beyond the temptations of a false Venus.
We can say that this split release was a good move by Aeternitas Tenebrarum, putting together two of the most appreciated projects on their roster. This work by Haar and Ur Draugr is definitely recommended to people that enjoyed their previous works, and to fans of diverse and philosophically engaging black metal in general.