Released: 2006, Earache Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Years ago, I remember being massively unimpressed with this band; an album or so later, and I’m…still not sure just where I stand. Produced by Tue Madsen and heavily promoted by a clearly-impressed Earache, Urkraft have undoubtedly come far. But is it far enough?
Sharp, technical thrash/death in the vein of Horfixion, The Haunted, and later Demolition Hammer, this oozes with potential—-and certainly pummels, in the strict technical sense. Drum sounds are massive, like Exmortem (who remain one of Earache’s most criminally overlooked bands…) and Usurper. Guitars churn away with a compressed sort of chopping rhythm, not unlike a beefed-up Carnal Forge. Keyboards creep out here and there, comparable to Fear Factory’s DEMANUFACTURE opus. The vocals are…there. This aspires to be the next Fear Factory or Meshuggah, but in the end, is but another solid Earache release, albeit one less likely to carry the torch much farther than Corporation 187 or Pulkas managed to.
The absolute ass-beating of tracks like “The Great Summer” and “The Only Gods” (which remains the album’s standout) is undeniable. Fans of everything from Meshuggah and Decapitated, to Lamb Of God and The Haunted, will absolutely eat this up. The difficulty is not in enjoying this release; the difficulty comes merely in distinguishing it from all the rest.
Highlights: “The Only Gods,” “Open The Gates.”