URN Returns from the Ashes

After several years out of the spotlight, dark metal band URN is back with their third full-length album Epiphany. Their first effort since Scribings of a Forgotten Soul in 2009 and first produced by Dark Moon Records, the album shows the band’s evolution over their 20-year existence.

The brainchild that would come to be Epiphany started its creation in 2011 after the band took some time off to focus on their personal lives, family, and “to gain a fresh perspective” following heavy touring to promote Scribings. The extreme life changes the members went through in that time period provided easy inspiration for the album’s name. “It summed up a great deal of what many of us on an individual level had come to learn about ourselves,” said Founder and Frontman Dominic St. Charles.

These life changes and emotions are heavily reflected in Epiphany. From the haunting “Empty Promises,” which touches on loss, to the self-titled track that delves into the hardships of finding yourself, there is something for any fan to relate to. The album’s first single, “Cast in Amber” represents some of the depression the band has faced over the years and triumphed. A sequel to “Etched in Stone” from their 2006 album Dancing with the Demigods, the song is written in the form of a suicide letter.

‘The true message of what we are trying to convey is no matter how bad life can seem, there is no difficulty too great that it cannot be lessened and that life itself is a beautiful gift meant to be cherished and shared,” said St. Charles. The debut video, he said, portrays the sentiment that once someone has left his loved ones behind he hopes that they will one day forgive him and think better of him than he obviously thought of himself.

The album is an emotional one for the band, who lost an integral part of the group earlier this year. Great friend and fill-in bassist Scott Clendenin passed in March after health complications. Formerly of the pioneering death metal band Death, Clendenin had a lot of input in the band’s catalog. “It calls to light not to take people for granted, you never really know how much time you have with someone,” said St. Charles.

URN lends a lot of their success to their versatility, which has captivated audiences across multiple genres. Epiphany focuses on the more Celtic/folk side of the band, which has drawn rave reviews from fans in the past. The album integrates a heavy use of non-traditional rock instruments such as the violin and harp as a departure from the use of keyboards. The group still believes in a symphonic approach, but St. Charles said that “this migration stylistically we felt was a natural progression for us.”

The band is currently working on booking a tour to promote Epiphany. Though they have been “blessed” to tour with some of their heroes in the past, they have their eye on Paradise Lost and Cradle of Filth to share the stage with.

In Memory of Scott Clendenin (January 17, 1968 – March 24, 2015)