In recent years, the term of “supergroup” for metal has been driven into the f*cking group with every other band with at least one slightly notable musician calling themselves a supergroup. But many fail to bring the actual super into the mix, and that’s something I’ve been hoping to see change given time. Thankfully, my patience was rewarded to the introduction of Ursinne which features not only Dave Ingram (Echelon, ex-Hail of Bullets, ex-Bolt Thrower) but also Jonny Pettersson (Henry Kane, Wombbath, Ashcloud) (along with a very capable bassist in the form of Sonia Nusselder (Sepiroth) who joined after the bands inception)! That’s one f*cking helluva lineup, and their debut album had loads of potential upon its release. And even though I wasn’t too big into “Swim With the Leviathan” the first time around, it’s definitely grown on me and I feel this is a group with limitless potential.
The biggest problem I had with “Swim With the Leviathan” at the beginning that still persists now is how a quarter of this album consists of covers. That’s not a massive issue at all and I’m very aware of that, but I just find it to be too many covers, and even though that’s just me bitching and moaning about an issue that’s small at worst, the surrounding original material that Ursinne busts out is no less than f*cking immaculate for death metal. Given how the founding members are veterans of the genre with both of them collectively having literal decades worth of experience between the two, I expected no less from “Swin With the Leviathan”. You can really feel through every single track the flavors and intricacies that Ursinne brings to the table that comes straight from the very foundations of death metal from bone crushing riffs, ferocity that can’t be kept down, quality that can only be described as immaculate, and a sucker punch to the jugular that shakes you to the very core. That’s but the tip of the iceberg for “Swin With the Leviathan” with each new spin providing something extra that you didn’t notice before, some meaty morsel that escaped your grasp the first go around. Maybe it’s a melody that eluded you before, a vicious harmony of vocals that work together incredibly well that you didn’t pick up on the first go, or you simply find a song more enjoyable the second time! There’s loads of enjoyment to be had from Ursinne’s first outing, and it’s one of those releases that shouldn’t be ignored because it’s got everything a modern death metal could ask for in a debut, and if that’s not satisfying then I don’t know what is.
If you’re one of those people that decide to let this record pass you by simply because you haven’t heard the name of Ursinne or think that death metal doesn’t have any talented new bands anymore, then you better shut your mouth and promptly investigate this album! “Swim With the Leviathan” isn’t the best slab of death we’re going to get this year with plenty of others ahead of them, but I’ll be damned before I say that Ursinne isn’t an amazingly strong contender that should not be underestimated, taken lightly, or ignored by anyone who wants to see a group become a key band of underground death in a few years. Mark my words!
“Swim With the Leviathan” is out now via Transcending Obscurity Records! You can listen to “Swim With the Leviathan” on Bandcamp here, and you can stream a track, “Talons”, via YouTube below.
- Devil May Care
- I, Serpentine
- Bullet Bitten
- The Chimes of Midnight
- Crazy Horses (THE OSMONDS Cover ft. Count MoriVond from Danse dE Sade)
- Turning Japanese (THE VAPORS Cover also ft. Jonny Pettersson on vocals)
- Hollow Hearse
- Something Wicked This Way Comes
- Monsters in the Parasol (Bonus Track ft. Kam Lee – QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Cover)
- Spellbound (Bonus Track – SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES Cover)