It never gets old, does it? It never gets old listening to a metal band who are simply content with making the grisliest, most enormous-sounding shit possible, and especially when said band features members of the sorely-underrated Hang The Bastard. That’s the case with URNE, rising from the ashes of former band with a vengeance, and with debut EP The Mountain Of Gold, it’s a safe bet that they could grow to be just as great in time.

Sure, it’s hardly innovative (such is the case with much sludge- and stoner-metal in this vein), but in a sub-genre where the ability to go for broke with as much force as possible is half the battle, URNE are already onto a winner here. That’s definitely the impression that comes from the gnarled, laborious opening riff of Dust Atlas, and while nothing else quite reaches that level, the distinct twinges of Mastodon-style melody within The Lady & The Devil and The March Towards The Sun suggest a different but no less workable intention than their contemporaries.

And to some, that might give the impression that URNE are starting off on a weaker footing; after all, when it’s at its most oppressively scorching and thick, something that The Mountain Of Gold admittedly isn’t. However, if there’s a band in this lane with more potential star power than URNE, they’ve yet to be revealed, as what this trio could build themselves into is an exciting prospect indeed. Architects’ Josh Middleton might have a hand in that with his production (and some incredible guitar work that he lends to The March Towards The Sun), but given that Joseph Nally manages to sound like all three Mastodon vocalists at once, and forges a simultaneously independent identity for himself with his guttural screams, that bodes extremely well for whatever URNE want to do in the future.

And again, URNE – like Hang The Bastard – will never be airplay-hoarding mainstream darlings, but it’s not like anyone would want them to be. The Mountain Of Gold is tucked away is sludge-metal’s corner where it can grow as much as it likes, and that’s a very real possibility given how melodically rich this EP is, as well as doubling down on the low-end heaviness. URNE could do a lot in their genre very soon with incredible ease; don’t be surprised when the name starts coming up more and more.

7/10

For fans of: The Sword, Mastodon, Hang The Bastard
Words by Luke Nuttall

‘The Mountain Of Gold’ by URNE is released on 27th July.

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