Monday 26 February 2018

Bismark - Urkraft (Album Review)

Release date: 05th February 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Urkraft – Tracklisting

1.Harbinger 04:41
2.A Golden Throne 06:08
3.Iron Kingdom 08:07
4.Vril-ya 10:00
5.The Usher 05:50


Torstein Nørstegård Tveiten (vocals)
Anders Vaage (bass),
Eirik Goksøyr (guitar)
Trygve Svarstad (guitar)
Tore Lyngstad (drums)


Greetings All,

Ukraft is the debut album from Norwegian stoner/doom metal band Bismarck. The band delivers a killer multi textural sound across the albums 5 tracks. The songs on Ukraft blend seamlessly together giving the listener a dissonant, yet intense, feeling over the 35 minutes of achingly beautiful darkness. Although the band is described as stoner metal band, I didn’t really get that vibe. The record definitely has a doom metal feel, even some elements of sludge metal in the vocals. However, there is a unique, jazz inflected, shoegaze feel that emerges through the reverb, feedback and heavy drone of the record.

The album opens with Harbinger, the track opens slowly with a low bass rumble and drums giving away to muted vocals that set the ominous mood that follows as the guitars kick in and the vocals taking a turn for the sludge filled. A Golden Throne opens with feedback and some killer drumming before opening up into a heavy, groove filled riff that leads into a musical breakdown that I believe has the guitars sounding like a synth filled nightmare.

Iron Kingdom opens with a couple of moments of silence before a bass groove makes its way in to the most rhythmic and direct track on the record. The song has intense vocals over a super strong riff with tons of the bands trademark dissonance bubbling down below and deliver some haunted soloing to close the track. Vril-Ya was my favorite track from the album. The song features another tasty, groove heavy riff, but in a bit of a more laid back delivery. The song is chock full of dissonant guitars and artfully uses the quiet/loud effect to its maximum effectiveness.

The album closes with The Usher and its hard hitting wall of fuzz and fury. The song is a mighty final blow delivered by the band that delivers some mighty riffage and some of the more interesting sounds on the record.

There is a slow, steady sound that Bismarck lay down throughout this record. Ukraft is a promising, unique debut record that will appeal to those that dig bands like Neurosis and Ufomammut. You can check out the bands BandCamp page to obtain this fine recording. Let’s hope that Ukraft gets a proper physical release that it deserves. Go check out Bismarck and let the dissonance drown you in your misery.

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey