Ursa Major

Old Bones

Written by: PP on 14/07/2013 19:35:38

Ursa Major are a Christian metalcore band from Shepperton, UK, who source their inspiration primarily from the mid 2000s bands, most notably Killswitch Engage, Norma Jean and Misery Signals to name but a few acts whose influence can be detected in various places throughout "Old Bones". The album starts with an ambitious intro track called "Birth", which dabbles with melodic hardcore foundations given its lingering guitar melodies that are contrasted by heavy breakdowns in the background. Technical riffage takes over towards the end of the intro, which then continues directly over to "Black Lights", a song right in between melodic hardcore and mid 2000s metalcore styles, taking bits and pieces from both to achieve a rich and convincing sound from the get go.

They have a versatile vocalist whose pipes are nothing short of excellent in both screaming and clean vocals, a rare trait to come by these days. The screams are very well enunciated and clear despite the rough style, bringing to mind the thick and powerful delivery of Gwen Stacy's Cole Wallace from "The Life I Know", who basically single-handedly carried that album (and band) through his incredible pipes. Here, the falsetto cleans are great too, recalling both Killswitch Engage's Howard Benson as well as Norma Jean's Cory Brandan in turns. "The Two Hundred", for example, has a mid tempo chorus that sounds like Killswitch could've written it, thus feeling like a nostalgic reminder of the glory days of metalcore given its astonishing beauty, whereas "Dead Eyes" features melancholic clean delivery that should immediately remind you of Norma Jean's "The Anti Mother".

Throughout the seven tracks (+ intro) that "Old Bones" lasts, Ursa Major display some great songwriting talent. The interplay between technical guitar and rough vocals is excellent, as is the atmospherics and the cleans that usually lead into instantly grabbing choruses. It sounds like much of the Christian metalcore of the old days before the melodic hardcore style took over, meaning it's less intensity driven and more concentrated on epic, far-reaching chorus melodies and brilliant scream delivery. This is how great metalcore sounds, folks.


Download: Black Lights, The Two Hundred, Fist Of The Fleet
For the fans of: Killswitch Engage, Gwen Stacy, Misery Signals, Norma Jean
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.04.2013

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