March 6, 2014

Upyr - Altars/Tunnels

Written by Ulla Roschat.

Upyr are a five piece band from Sofia/Bulgaria. They formed in 2012 and released their demo album Altars/Tunnels one year later in 2013.

What they present on their demo is basically blackened Doom, and Upyr pretty much stick to these basics to create four tracks of monolithic heaviness with an atmosphere of utter darkness, the fundamental simplicity of doom that makes the unearthly and uncanny sound earthy and natural.

The four tracks though, each about 10 minutes long, are unique and diverse, despite all simplicity. The opening track, being the most “traditionally” structured song, sets the mood of a dark, black and slightly cultish/gothic Doom soundscape. The next one drags you deeper down into this mood getting even gloomier and slower. The third track I wouldn't even call a regular song, it’s more or less a hypnotic recitation of Aleister Crowley’s poem Hymn To Pan accompanied by a repetitive melody provided by the guitars only, and the last one is bracingly chaotic and cacophonic. All songs are carefully constructed, with slow build ups that keep the tension to the point, with tempo shifts going easy and seamless from funeral pace to mid tempo.

A really outstanding and defining element in Upyr music are the vocals. The vocalist’s sonorous hypnotic and charismatic voice (once again I’m falling in love with vocals), is used as clean vocals, spoken or whispered words, dark growls or black metal screams, add a great deal of texture and facets of mood to the songs.

Altars/Tunnels is an album with a rich doom atmosphere that simply sucks you in right from the beginning and keeps you there, mesmerized, until the last sound dies away.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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