Ursinne is the death metal supergroup you haven’t heard about yet and still never knew how much you needed. The collaboration between death metal vocalist-emeritus Dave Ingram (Benediction, Bolt Thrower, DATDM, Hail of Bullets, general greatness) and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Henry Kane, Pale King, general greatness), Ursinne mashes up everything awesome about classic death metal into a fun and original collection of tunes on their debut, SWIM WITH THE LEVIATHAN.
The 12 tracks on SWIM WITH THE LEVIATHAN draw from old school UK brummie death metal, traditional mid/late 90’s Scandinavian flavors and just a dash of WOLVERINE BLUES-era death n’ roll to create a formula that’s readily familiar but just as hard to pigeonhole at the same time. “Devil May Care” chugs with restrained groove and a sprinkle of Hypocrisy-esque melodies as “Hollow Hearse” drops its head straight down into its doomy rhythms. “Bullet Bitten” goes full on Priest by way of Stockholm, summoning some words of wisdom from the mighty Lemmy himself, while “Talons” is arguably the most traditional 90’s death metal anthem that wasn’t actually written or recorded in the 90’s.
As legit as the 8 original tunes on SWIM WITH THE LEVIATHAN are, most of the attention will likely be paid to an unlikely set of cover tunes that work surprisingly well. The Osmond’s “Crazy Horses” is given an almost hair metal treatment, complete with Petterson working the high notes, while fellow legend Kam Lee puts his 2 cents worth into Queens of the Stone Age’s “Monsters in the Parasol”. A cringeworthy rendition of the Vapors’ “Turning Japanese” is somehow passible, but a death/goth rendition of Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “Spellbound” will have you feeling just that. It’s safe to say that Ingram and Petterson were having fun during these sessions and not taking things much too seriously.
Given the volume of creative output between Ingram and Petterson, a project like Ursinne seems totally logical and bound to have happened eventually. SWIM WITH THE LEVIATHAN embraces the best of what these gents love about death metal and then some, still managing to have fun with the format while staying true at the same time. Ursinne is proof that you can deliver the heavy and have a good time at the same time.
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