From the recommendation of the PR wire who provided this album for listening and reviewing, I decided to listen to this debut album by URSA. This Spain-based outfit are definitely hard to peg in terms of genre. Their style is heavy, but not in the way of normal tech metal or progressive metal bands. There isn’t much in the way of riffing or pretentious, cheesy cliches. URSA are completely different, really, and they are here to win an uphill battle.
“nulla” is an instrumental affair that is always interesting and spell-binding. Indeed, I think that is the most impressive aspect here: the music grabs, holds and doesn’t let go. URSA builds a wonderful wall of sound lush guitar riffs, offbeat drumming with amazing fills, a refreshing bass work and plenty of atmospherics. One of the things you will notice right away is the fact that URSA is very comfortable with odd time signatures. “I” is an easy example of this, as the song never quite feels “right” the first time through, but then your mind will grasp the beat in all of its intangible glory in subsequent listens. In the end, the composition is genius and absolutely mind-boggling to perform.
The album never really stops, though. “III” and “IV” continue the incredible composition, though I feel that they are slightly more ‘accessible.’ Track after track full of instrumental fireworks passes by, and the listener is blown away time and again by the fullness of the sound and the ease with which the band establishes an odd groove. This band has a penchant for creating groovy atmospheres that blow right over your head, but then come back and smack you in the spine with their genius.
“nulla” is available now from URSA’s Bandcamp. You can also stream the album below.