Apr 02

Aura Noir – Out To Die (2012)


Aura Noir - Out To Die

Formed at the height of the Norwegian black metal scene, yet influenced by thrash heavyweights such as Kreator, Aura Noir has found a perfect mix of the two styles and expertly display this unholy union on their latest effort, Out To Die. Unable to escape the omnipresent influence of bands like Mayhem and Burzum, the sound is uncompromised thrash with a dash of black metal for flavor and grit. To add more fun into the mix, Apollyon, who handles the vocal duties, occasionally sounds something akin to Lemmy’s black metal bastard cousin. In terms of the production value, the Out To Die sounds a bit like it came from the early to mid-90s, which is not a bad thing. The unpolished sound really gives the album a bit of a raw and dirty feel without sounding cheap and amateurish.

Kicking things off, “Trenches” tears into vertebrae-snapping riff and ripping solo that have no qualms about the damage the rest of the album is about to unleash upon your skull. Both “Fed to the Flames” and “Abbadon” have a very “Phantom-Lord-Kill-Em-All,” early Bay-Area thrashiness to them. Listen to the solo in “Abbadon” and you too will be whisked back to the days of denim vests and bullet belts. Following the aforementioned double-barreled thrash attack, “The Grin from the Gallows” dials the intensity down a bit to give the album a nice break around the midway point. “Withheld” then suddenly and rudely bitch slaps you back into action, adding a bit of death metal flare to the thrash party. The final two tracks wrap up the way the album started, with a feverish intensity that does not relent until the final chord is struck.

Out To Die, despite being a “thrash” record, has a good bit of variety and thus doesn’t allow the album to feel like the world’s longest thrash song. Throughout the album, you never forget the foundation of Aura Noir’s sound, but they do a great job of folding other metal influences into the mix. At some moments, the cold wintery frost of black metal can be felt. At other times, traditional metal sounds take hold. No matter what else is thrown into the mix, however, there is no mistaking that Aura Noir is first and foremost, a thrash band. If you consider yourself to be a fan of unbridled thrash metal, you must seek out this album. If Aura Noir is touring with anyone before the end of 2012 (and presumably the world), do what you can to see them live and support one of the longer lasting thrash acts around.

Track Listing:

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”

* Editor’s Choice

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