Thursday, September 22, 2016
Auroch : "Mute Books"
On their 3rd album this band from Vancouver reaches deeper into the dissonant darkness and still manages to touch on moments of melodic beauty. This doesn't mean that they totally back off from some of the more straight forward death metal cliches, they just run into them when they decide to speed things up. To say this is occult death metal might be an exaggeration, as it doesn't have the cavernous Incantation like bellowing. The vocals do get very low and gurgled almost to the Cannibal Corpses level. The guitar is generally pretty tasteful and on the first song balances out these outbursts. "He Wreathes the Cross" finds them playing into the more heavy handed death metal conventions, which is a little bit of a let down after being shown what they are capable of on the first song.
They back to that darker and more atmospheric place on "Say Nothing". They create an enthralling pulse, but them given into the more savage urge to beat you with speed. The layered vocals make this chaos a little more interesting than if it had been straight up grunting. But I feel these more brutal displays of speed for the sake of speed are passages to be endured rather than enjoyed. Sure there is some fucking mean as hell guitar work going on, but mean it's all teeth gnashing at once is it really anything we haven't heard before. The sections where the more spoken female voices come in is more intriguing than being blasted to hell and back.
'Tipharethagirion" sounds more like something Deicide would have done. It denser and hammers you with a more noise ridden barrage. Chaos really unfurls in a Slayer / Morbid Angel fashion when it is time to get to the guitar solos.On " the Keeping" They touch on some of the creepiness Slayer once invoked when they did serial killer love songs.This is discarded in favor of brutal bashing after the first minute and then they return for some morbid reflection which to my ears is more powerful than the obvious steam roller sections.The second half of the album finds the songs getting more compactly written. "Her Bidding" is like the song before it in the first minute carries a more interesting vibe that is sacrificed for the sake of beating you into submission. The song does winds it's way around to some more interesting touches which says a lot considering the song is only three minutes long.
They close with a more furious storm on "Cup of Hemlock". It's fast and feral with the low sewer drain vocals giving way to higher snarls where a chorus would be. I'll give this album an 8 as it is very well executed. My only problem with the album is when they go blasting off into some of these sections that throws all caution to the wind for the sake of speed I feel that they are taking the easy way out, but I think that is a genre wide problem and these guys are only doing what is expected and giving it their own spin. If you want brutal death metal with an occult twist this album is worth your time. Profound Lore is releasing it October 21st.