It’s hard to be surprised by anything anymore, especially when it comes to heavy music. With blogs, social media, Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify, opening slots, production announcements, label signings and even flyers and stickers around venues heralding the next big thing and basically amounting to spoilers for real life, it becomes harder and harder to be totally knocked flat by something you never saw coming. Enter Japanese tech death outfit Urobilinemia. After appearing on a 2014 split with fellow dissonant J-grinders Ayakasi Kagura they unleashed a 2015 EP of their own upon their home country bearing this same name. America now feels the wrath as Urobilinemia comes stateside, combining the tracks from the previous split and LP into a full length release that amounts to one of the most confident and polished metal debuts I’ve heard in some time.
Urobilinemia’s attack is so deft and assured you’d never believe that this was their opening salvo, let alone that they recorded it themselves in their home studio, with a mastering assist from Chris Garcia (Bloodscribe, Stages of Decomposition). Vocals are credited to a single man known only as “GoreGraind” and he runs a schizophrenic gamut from black metal howls to deathly growls and everything in between. The music follows right along, a catastrophic cacophony of ripsaw riffs, squealing technicality and a pounding, blasting tirade of drum warfare bringing to mind the initial, innovative release from The Faceless, though without the synthesized elements muddying the waters of the analog craftsmanship on display.
The band’s prowess is best evidenced on “Algophobia”, with somber melodic passages trading time with the shrieking, maniacal grind slaughter in an operatic two minute masterpiece. Instrumental “Triceratopsy” is a roller coaster of noise ordinance, and the EP’s closing track brings a bile and blood gurgling vocal assault that has to be heard to be comprehended. The most impressive thing about this release may be the production though, as every expertly manipulated instrument gets isolated for maximum effect, nothing being drowned out of becoming muddy, and GoreGraind’s tortured vocals are at the perfect level to compliment and not detract from his compatriots’ instrumental chaos.
We may not know where the hell Urobilinemia came from (well, Japan, obviously, but figuratively…), but we’re definitely happy that this is how they chose to announce their presence to the world. We can only hope to continue to be inundated with this signature brand of noisy tech gore, death grind punishment for years to come.
Urobilinemia’s “Wriggling Chrysalis Of Metaphysical Grudge” is available now from Gore House Productions.