Friday 17 May 2024

Urzah - The Scorching Gaze (Album Review)

Release Date: May 03rd 2024. Record Label: APF Records. Formats: CD/DD/Cassette

The Scorching Gaze: Tracklisting

1.I, Empyrean 04:21

2.Lacrimare (Misery's Shadow) 05:08

3.Immateria Noir 07:05

4.(Interlude) 00:51

5.A Storm Is Ever Approaching 03:40

6.The Aesthetic 01:45

7.Of Decay 03:52

8.Thera I: Sea Of Flames 09:08

9.Thera II: Embers Of Descent 05:58

Band Members

James Brown - Drums

Ed Fairman - Vocals and guitar

Les Grodek - Bass

Tom McElveen - Guitar


Sludge/Stoner Metallers Urzah bring a Progressive Metal energy to their blistering debut album The Scorching Gaze which sees the band tread the path dominated by the likes of Mastodon, Baroness and High On Fire. However, Urzah proves they can hold their own with their wicked style of music that combines Groove, Thrash, Psych and Post-Metal soundscapes. The record has some sublime thrash beats and breakdowns that are heard very early on within the album on the excellent opening tracks of Empyrean and Lacrimare (Misery's Shadow).

There’s a slight Hardcore sound that almost verges into metalcore territory which perhaps comes mostly through Ed’s aggressive vocals which he performs like a seasoned veteran throughout the album. You can hear echoes of bands such as Cave In, Old Man Gloom and even Elder when the band ventures into Psychedelic waters. The soundscapes are vast and quite distant when they appear but they also give The Scorching Gaze a more cinematic sound.

Urzah have a great way of combining the harsher and violent instrumental sounds with the more charismatic Psychedelic Stoner Metal grooves which meet on the battlefield of intense Groove Metal/Post-Metal dynamics on the sublime tracks of Immateria Noir, A Storm Is Approaching and the brilliantly monolithic two part tracks of Thera I: Sea Of Flames and Thera II: Embers Of Descent.

You can see why the band has supported and played with the likes of BONGZILLA, OHHMS, Dopelord, Tuskar and Grave Lines. The record oozes class from every level with Urzah proving to be quite a true force of nature with the creative ideas and sounds contained on this album. The Scorching Gaze is one wild and unpredictable ride which will impress you with the multiple different styles of Sludge/Stoner Metal that Urzah have at their disposal.

This is an album you simply cannot ignore and with the record having superb production values throughout, Urzah have delivered the goods with this release. 

Outstanding. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Frenchie PR Trail for the promo.

Hidden will be available to buy now on CD/DD/Cassette via APF Records.


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