Saturday, March 31, 2012

Aura Noir - Out To Die

Aura Noir's Out To Die dropped onto me like an unanticipated bombshell fired by Satan's 666th artillery division. I really wasn't expecting a new release anytime soon but then again I only casually follow the band and most blackened thrash in general. It's not my favorite sub-subgenre. However if you want blackened thrash with some balls, you've got it right here.

One of the better and more consistent bands that I've heard in black thrash, Aura Noir doesn't disappoint with Out To Die. It's pretty much everything you'd expect from an Aura Noir album: evil pit-riff madness, fun shredding solos, and d-beats all smeared in a coating of abrasive production. That's the biggest appeal for me coming from Goatwhore.

The warfare started as I descended into "Trenches," which roars into existence with an echoing solo and some solid vocalwork. Aura Noir's penchant for throaty, shouted vocals returns in full force on Out To Die. Other than the opener, "Priest's Hellish Fiend" is a great example of this, and they add to the bouncy nature of the track. Apollyon and Aggressor manage to bring out some denser rasps at times too, like on the track "Abbadon" which climaxes with one of the more frenzied solos on Out To Die. It's an appropriately violent mixture of hellish aggression and thrash metal energy. I can't say I'm a huge fan of "Deathwish" though. The muted riffing feels a bit weak, but it does let the low-mixed bass shine through.

It's tough to write about an album that is every bit the definition of its label. Aura Noir know the staples well, and they execute them flawlessly on Out To Die if a bit predictably. If you've never heard a black thrash album before, then you're in for a treat. If you have, then you have more reliably great cannon fodder to shell the posers with.

7.5 out of 10


1. Trenches
2. Fed to the Flames
3. Abbadon
4. The Grin from the Gallows
5. Withheld
6. Priest's Hellish Fiend
7. Deathwish
8. Out to Die

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