Back in 2021, I made a grievous mistake which I shall not be making ever again - I slept on an URNE release. Back them, it was the firey, heavy metal fueled Serpent & Spirit, a rousing album which I still listen to regularly today. It took a while for it to click but, once it did, it clicked all the way through, and has become one of my staples when I need something lively, energetic, but still interesting. That last part comes from URNE's absolute refusal to stick to the mold, inflecting their dedication to heavy metal with plenty of touches from death, thrash, and black metal. This not only made Serpent & Spirit extremely good but also marked URNE in my book of bands to watch.
Lo and behold, the time is coming for URNE to unleash a new release on us and if you think you know what it sounds like, you're wrong. It's not that there's no kinship with Serpent & Spirit. It's just that many dials which configured that album into what it is have been massively tweaked, mixing the same elements into a massive beast of grooves, soaring vocals, and heaviness that's as hard to resist as its predecessor. Oh, and there's also a cool story that comes within it wherein Jean-Michel Labadie and Joe Duplantier from Gojira fell in love with the release, with the latter actually producing it at their fabled Silver Cord studios.
Cool, right? All of that, of course, is as ash in the wind in the face of how good A Feast On Sorrow, which releases on the 11th of August via the legendary Candlelight Records, actually is. As I eluded to above, it keeps the energetic core of URNE's original release but supercharges it with haggard post-hardcore vocals, plenty of Gojira influenced (and, vicariously, Morbid Angel influenced) chunky riffs, monstrous drums, and an overall penchant to shift sounds on you that keeps everything exciting. All of this to say that I am incredibly excited for this album but also that running a "The Anatomy Of" post seemed like a no-brainer.
Varied artists like these always make for interesting contributors to the series and this time is no different. Which is to say, none of the below chosen bands will necessarily surprise you in their inclusion but two of the three albums which were chosen are certainly...interesting. Maybe it's because this is the second time URNE have submitted an entry to the series (I think they're the first group to do?) or maybe it's just because they don't like to play by the rules, but URNE have selected a few tidbits for us that surprised and (mostly) pleased me.
And, to be honest, this entire post is just an excuse for me to once again tell you about one of my favorite metal bands currently in existence and correct my initial errors. URNE rules! A Feast On Sorrow rules and, prior to its release, make sure you head on over to Candlelight's Bandcamp page to check out the singles that have been released while you read their entries below!
Joe Nally (vocals, bass)
Gojira - Magma
So, this is our second time doing the "Anatomy Of", and we want to mix it up! We were lucky enough to work with Joe Duplantier and Johann Meyer on A Feast On Sorrow, the duo behind Magma. I absolutely love the production job and risks that Gojira aimed for on this album, and it was certainly something myself and Angus were searching for.
Now, musically, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite Gojira album, but the sound really connected with me. It feels raw and real. And when the possibility came up to work with these two, we jumped at it!
Standout tracks: "Magma", "Silvera", and "Pray"
URNE - Serpent & Spirit
Okay, I have picked our last album haha! But I really didn’t want to listen to too much metal when writing this record, apart from what we had already done. I wanted to find areas I enjoyed for us to enhance on that sound and areas that I hated so I could make sure we avoided those ha!
Aside from two songs, myself and Angus wrote all the music on the album, and I feel that helped us drop a few things we didn’t enjoy and really dial in our sound. A big thing for me was to improve the drum tone on this record and the overall playing, and I feel confident that we did that.
Standout tracks: "Desolate Heart", "Memorial", and "Serpent & Spirit"
Angus Neyra (guitars)
Dream Theater - Train Of Thought
Petrucci has been a big influence to me as a guitar player with his ability to write catchy melodies in riffs and solos, but was also in there early to try new ideas and techniques on the guitar. Train of Thought I consider as DT’s most metal sounding album, whilst keeping their signature proggy sound in the writing, which is what I feel A Feast on Sorrow is for us compared to Serpent & Spirit. There’s still some of the classic sounding elements in tracks such as "A Stumble Of Words, yet there’s more of a heavy and crushing element in other parts of the album.
Standout tracks: "Stream of Consciousness", "In The Name of God"
Death - Symbolic
To be honest a lot of Death albums could’ve taken the spot on this list, but Symbolic was one I’d been listening to more than the rest! Like the DT album, Chuck’s writing on this has ideas that think outside of a verse/chorus/repeat structure, but at the same time segues from riff to riff seamlessly. That was something important for us on this album; the songs had to have a flow to them, and even the track-listing order was well thought through to make sure the journey of the album felt right. In the end, I feel we’ve got tracks on here that stand strong on their own if they came on shuffle, but to listen to them in order from start to finish is a different experience.
Standout tracks: "Crystal Mountain", "Perennial Quest"