URA-KIA – Ura-Kia

URA-KIA - Ura-Kia
  • 8/10
    URA-KIA - Ura-Kia - 8/10


JamSync Music
Release date: August 9, 2011

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Southern Metal has relatively been in the underground over the past few years. The genre is traditionally known for creating music with a “no holds barred” attitude with an incredibly edgy sound. Bands such as Pantera, Black Label Society, and Nashville Pussy have helped define this genre. URA-KIA is no exception. Originating from Kentucky, USA, URA-KIA is the side project of guitarist Jeff Westlake from the band Hydrogyn. Westlake has put together an ensemble that fortifies their Southern roots, and then expands it to a new level.

URA-KIA was written and recorded in a mere 15 days and during that time they managed to put out 11 Hardcore tracks with pure Southern influences. Unknown vocalist Keith Ramsey turns out to be the real hero of this album with his Zakk Wylde and Danny Joe Brown (Molly Hatchet) singing style. Ramsay could easily be the new voice of Southern Metal. Additionally, the heavy riffs produced by guitarist Jeff Westlake clearly define the heart and driving force behind the URA-KIA sound.

The album starts out extremely strong with a very heavy track “Sea Of Lies”, which provides a fitting introduction to the power and soul of Ramsey and Westlake. The album really takes off during the track “Giv’n Ur Luv Away”, which is the quintessential Southern Rock song, complete with a Bluesy guitar intro, high intensity vocals, back-up female vocals, and a wailing guitar solo.

The album does delve into some darker and heavier style Metal songs as well. The instrumental track “Prime Evil Brigade” and the Danzig-esque “Wretched And Weary” take the listener on a slightly different path from the Southern themes of the album. These songs not only help the album produce a sense of diversity, but provides another outlet for Ramsey to extend his vocal talents to a new height.

One thing that creates some confusion to the whole package is the cover art of the album. In many cases, artists will use cover art to help represent a visual aspect of the music. However, with this album it is clearly not the case. The cover art depicts some alien looking creatures, which might give the impression the album is going to have a science fiction type theme. Given that URA-KIA is a new and unknown band for many people, there is no indication that it’s full of pure Southern Hard Rock and Metal.

Overall, URA-KIA has a pretty good start with this album. There is a lot of determination and talent with the songwriting and musicianship. Although it doesn’t sound like this album was thrown together in two weeks, if this band actually had a significant amount of time to rehearse and record, the possibilities are limitless.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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