Given the quality of their second album “Am Nodr”, it was only a question of time before Latvian URSKUMUG’s debut album “Pareja” would see a re-release through a label and Moscow’s Haarbn Production, who already had been responsible for such gemstones such as Georgian RUINS OF FAITH and Armenian SWORN took it upon themselves to do exactly that. And they did not just take what they already had and slap it onto a different CD, no, they added a bonus video clip, a different cover and put everything into a very nice DigiPak, so that even those, who own the original, such as myself, have some added value to the package.
Musically nothing has changed, we still get melodic, yet heavy Black Metal with a lot of rhythmic variety and excellent atmosphere (partly induced by the good use of keyboards) and while originality still had been a certain issue for the Latvians, things were looking up already and they managed to continue this with the already mentioned follow-up “Am Nodr”. Now as the content is the same as when I had first reviewed the album back in 2004, I can technically refer you back to said review, as my opinion has not really changed compared to three years ago, but still had the obligation to let you know about this one, right?
Anyways, if you don’t want to go into another review, try to check out “Urskumug”, “When World Becomes Ice”, “Warrior’s End” and “The Heathens Cave” and you will get a good idea of what the roots of the Riga-based band sounded like, for genre fans it is definitely worth it.
(Online October 8, 2007)