Thursday, April 05, 2012

Two more escapees from the lab....

Once again, I get my wires crossed at, and end up doing two write ups for Dave's Underground Laboratory that had already been assigned to other writers. No matter...

Aura Noir Out To Die

(Indie Recordings)

Release Date: March 23rd, 2012

Norway’s Aura Noir, a “supergroup” of sorts with members culled from various giants of the Second Wave of Norwegian Black Metal, have been honing their blackened thrash assault with punk overtones since well before the mixing of such genres became fashionable. In existence in one form or another since the mid ‘90s, Out To Die continues Aura Noir’s approach of semi-sloppy thrash with a dirty sound and a decided viciousness that more than rings “true.”

A galloping pace and dirty vocals with an almost punk snarl accompany riffs straight out of the old school à la early Kreator, but with a more modern sense of scathing viciousness. Aura Noir are at their best when just proceeding forward with a balls out attack with plenty of speed, and Out To Die has plenty of such assaults. Less effective are a few slower paced moments which tend to meander a bit, but, never fear, the pace quickens again soon enough.

Grade: B

Aura Noir Facebook

Hour Of Penance Sedition

(Prosthetic Records)

Release Date: March 27th, 2012

Technical brutal death metal wins out over the wankery with Hour Of Penance. OK, a few weeks back, my examination of Incurso from Spawn Of Possession yielded less than stellar results. However, separating bands such as Hour Of Penance and, say, Origin from their overtly “technicality for the sake of technicality” brethren is the ability to concentrate on actually writing catchy songs. Hour Of Penance and Origin, for example, pile on the riffs and even a few grooves to draw in the listener besides demonstrating their ambidexterity on the fret board.

Sedition, the fourth album from Italy’s Hour Of Penance has catchy songs in spades, all the while retaining an exceptionally high quality of musicianship. Although probably not quite the album that Entity from Origin was last year, Sedition is pretty close with good songwriting and seamless musicianship. Lightning fast guitar work, blastbeats galore that very occasionally slow down just a tad, lots of riffs, a few melodies, you name it. The vocals from new guitarist Paolo Peri are a bit pedestrian and do not stand out, but that’s a minor quibble as Hour Of Penance more than bowl you over with technicality and brutality.

Although not the absolute best release in the technical brutal death metal subgenre, Sedition from Hour Of Penance towers above the recent albums from bands that seemed to be concerned with wankery more than anything else.

Grade: B+

Hour Of Penance Facebook

Overkill The Electric Age

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