Illt – who in the real world happens to be a respected TV and film soundtrack composer by the name of Roy Westad – has put together a neat little extreme metal compendium in the shape of new album Urhat.
At six tracks and and a tick under thirty six minutes in length, the album hits hard and gets out quickly, leaving the listener reeling and struggling to process what it is they’ve just been listening to. I reeled for so long I had to listen to the album repeatedly, the better to understand it. And I’m glad I did, because repeated listening has revealed this to be something of a gem.
Westad has put together what, in his day job, might be termed an ‘all-star cast’, with drums being handled by Megadeth alumnus Dirk Verbeuren, vocals coming courtesy of extreme throat for hire Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid and hacking, slashing guitars supplied by none other than Nile‘s Karl Sanders and Chrome Division/World of Damage six stringer Mr Damage.
These blokes, as I’m sure you can imagine, don’t mess about; Their combined efforts put coruscating tracks like opener Millennial Judas and the brilliant Every Tree A Gallow at the forefront of 2021’s extreme metal output. Second track Sons of the Northern Light isn’t far behind. And whilst every track on Urhat is not quite made of the same stern stuff as these three, the resultant ear battering Illt and his merry band of mercenaries deliver is as pleasurable as such things can possibly be. You’ll need a lie down and some time on your own to decompress after listening, but I’m of a mind to suggest that that is always a good sign as far as extreme metal albums are concerned.
Uncompromising, brutal, but above all eminently listenable, Illt has forged a fine piece of aural weaponry with Urhat.
Urhat releases on September 16th.