Holden – Ursa Minor

I love edgy bands. Those bands you have to listen very carefully to understand their intent with their music, or better yet, to understand their music at all. Here we have Holden with “Ursa Minor” that fit perfectly in this description. Though notably the main drive for the is album is Doom Metal, Holden managed very skilfully to spice the mix adding some more ingredients as Death, Black, Prog, some grunge and old school Heavy Metal. It’s surprising how the band deals with so many influences in a very competent manner. Musicwise, this album adds a lot to Metal playing due to competence of its musicians to melt those influences altogether and making them sound so natural. There are five tracks of this unexpected mix that makes the fan jawbreak.

“Ursa Minor” kicks off with “After the Fact” which is a martial epic track with elements of Death Metal highlighting the death-growls. The track starts with a martial cadence that reminds a litlle Manowar’s “Battle Hymns” and the the intensity goes growing little by little reaching its pinacle by the second minute when the cavernous and angry voice gives its grace. There are also some dissonances that makes the track even more interesting. Holden show that they can play with a steady determination, hard, and thirst for blood in more than eight minutes. Following track “Sparks Between Teeth” adds some grunge influences in the vocals and in the mesmerizing slow cadence. Vocals are less angrier, but showing more desperation with an almost clean feature sometimes bounced by the desperate tone of voice. The bass lines call the attention with a Rush’s Geddy Lee sonance giving the path to all the band. Guitars add lots of creativity throughout the seven minutes with sometimes hard riffing other times galloping. The strikings are intense and determined giving the song a very hard and harsh sound. “However Small, However Hidden” begins with a slow down mood giving the decisive Doom Metal direction the band desires. Guitars again go creatively combining strummings and squeals but keeping the already known cornerstone of the band which is the hard striking. Suddenly, by the third minute, the song plots into a jazzy guitar riffing that changes completely the mood of the song. No, my child of the night, the song hasn’t finished yet. By fourth minute the slow cadenced doomy mood returns. “However Small, However Hidden” is the track hat shows all the prowness of the musicians. This song has lots of plot twists in its more than fifteen minutes. It’s a Prog Doom Metal track if the term exists. In “Emperor of Maladies” the bass takes the lead with a dense and dark line full of distortion giving the foreboding mood which is complete when the guitars and vocals come. The cherry of the cake is the short, but decisive “The Way It Was and Will Be.” Wow, this is an album to recommend.

Holden “Ursa Minor” will be released on May 08th.

Track Listing:

  1. After the Fact
  2. Sparks Between Teeth
  3. However Small, However Hidden
  4. Emperor of Maladies
  5. The Way It Was and Will Be