Review: Kurgan “Yggdrasil Burns” [Massacre Records]

Review: Kurgan “Yggdrasil Burns” [Massacre Records]

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According to metal-archives.com there are eight bands named Kurgan. I wasn’t surprised to see the Ukrainian and Polish bands with such name because this word is very familiar to them. But there are also Georgian Kurgan, Brazilian and three (!) Kurgans from USA. Nevertheless, today we’re talking about the youngest band from all Kurgans – Dutch.

There isn’t much information about this band: it formed in 2014 and recorded their first demo that year also. And now, five years later, their debut album Yggdrasil Burns will be released. Actually, that’s all. The band’s line-up: Brian Sune Petersen (vocals), Thomas Hvisel (lead guitar), Jesper Myrup Andersen (rhythm guitar), Thor Holmen Petersen (bass, back vocals) and Charlie Selvig Jensen (drums). Oh, almost forgot: according to the band, approximately 16000 beers were emptied during the rehearsals and compositions of this album.

But let’s put all the jokes aside and talk about album. “Yggdrasil Burns is a melting point of various metal genres, since Kurgan decided to find inspiration in all the metal music they personally love”, written in press-release. Well, it’s quite good description, maybe a little bit pretentious. At least it’s better than “Melodic Death Metal” definition, by which Yggdrasil Burns was labelled, but there’s almost none of it in this LP.

The album contains ten songs, which are really a mix of different genres with strongly marked components. Viking Metal can be heard here (“The Fall Of Asgard”, “Send Me A Raven”, “Over The Lands, Into The Sea…”), Blackened Death (“Hellstorm”, Yggdrasil Burns”, “Evil Dead”) and Thrash Metal (“Regicide”, “Rise” and some pieces in “Hellstorm”). Also, there is some Heavy Metal in the album, or rather it’s I should say that “Kill The Enemy” sounds like Black/Death cover for some Manowar song: it’s melodic, you can hear the main line easily and the solo fits there stylistically. With this, there are many elements from Black/Death.

“Für Lise” also worth to be mentioned, it’s full of melody and very solid. This is Death Metal, with some Black elements, of course, but the harmony and the whole pattern is quite comprehensible. Some kind of “Black/Death for the masses”, like Varg do.

However, this diversity has one lack: elements from the different genres changing quickly and sometimes it turns to something indistinct. Tempo also changing, sometimes too rapidly. So, all this seems like the guys haven’t decided what they want to play so they tried to impress the listener with all the arsenal of techniques they have. But I dare to convey a timid hope that on the next album the musical diversity will not be just for diversity itself, as it sounds now.

Yggdrasil Burns will be released on September, 20 via Massacre Records.

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