Urzah Thescorchinggaze

Urzah - The Scorching Gaze


Urzah have exploded onto the scene recently, and this, their brilliant debut album will only see the clamour for them intensify

I love fusion cooking, you take bits and pieces of various styles of cooking and create something new and exciting. Taco pizza? Yes please! Spaghetti bolognese with Piri-Piri seasoning? Heck yeah! The same principle applies to music, you start with one style of music and add bits of what you like and voila, fusion music. Obviously it’s not that simple, otherwise everyone would be doing it, and it’s very easy to just chuck a bit of everything you like into a blender and end up with a stodgy mess, doing it well takes skill, which is where Urzah come in with their debut album The Scorching Gaze.

Now, after my rather laboured intro, I’m not saying that this album is a mash-up of disparate styles and genres. In fact, it can all be labelled ‘heavy music’ but it’s in the way that the band go about crafting their sonic assault by taking parts of various genres (a pinch of thrash metal here, a teaspoon of post metal, followed by a tablespoon of doom if you will) which is where this album shines.

Opening with “I, Empyrean”, Urzah immediately set their stall out like a demonic street vendor enticing you to sample the wares on offer. Atmospheric drones, shimmering guitar work and a hypnotic rhythm section combined with ludicrously good vocals (reminiscent of Burst lead-singer Linus Jaegerskog) to produce a raucous sense of urgency which sweeps you up and carries you along for the ride. Think a mash up of Burst, Urne and Norna and you won’t go far wrong.

The second track “Lacrimare (Misery’s shadow)” shifts gears slightly, bringing a heavier, more grounded sound. The percussion is thunderous, yet never overbearing, providing a solid foundation for the swirling maelstrom of guitars and synths. The interplay between the instruments is nothing short of mesmerizing, each one weaving in and out of the mix like celestial bodies in a cosmic dance. And then the song breaks down into a brooding midsection before barreling back into the sky with the intricate sonic assault the album has already settled into.

I’m not going to detail all of the songs here as I firmly believe the joy of listening to this album is discovering it for yourself, suffice to say, there are lots of curveballs and surprises for you to unbox, such as the galloping almost Punk stylings of “A Storm is Ever Approaching” which packs a lot into its brisk 3:40 minutes run time, or the ethereal beauty of “The Aesthetic” with its acoustic guitars which build up and segue brilliantly into the mesmeric “Of Decay” which if you like The Ocean you will find a lot to like in this song with its earth-shattering guitar attack.

With The Scorching Gaze Urzah has crafted an album that is as challenging as it is rewarding. It demands the listener’s full attention, inviting them to lose themselves in its vast sonic universe. This is an album that will not only stand the test of time but will also continue to reveal new layers upon each subsequent listen.

For those willing to embark on this celestial voyage, the album offers an experience that is both profoundly moving and sonically exhilarating. It is a testament to the band’s vision and artistry, which you should definitely seek out and get lost in. Glorious stuff.