Record label Indie Recordings
Norway’s Aura Noir have a brutal legacy behind them. They were the first band signed to Nocturno Culto, of Darkthrone infamy’s Tyrant Syndicate label with the realease of The Merciless in 2004 but they had been a major force in the international thrash scene for many years prior. Black Thrash Attack (1996) and Deep Tracts Of Hell (1998) solidified their place amid the dwindling and ever splintering extreme metal scene of the late 90’s. This year they’ve returned with a brand new offering entitled Out To Die on Peaceville. Out To Die sees this power trio pick up right where they left off in 2008 with Hades Rise. The eight tracks on this record clock in at just about a half hour of relentless and hellish shredding onslaught. The production on this record is much warmer in tone than any of their previous efforts and Apollyon’s vocals are far more dynamic than they’ve ever been. This is the band’s most mature effort to date. Aura Noir have always pulled more influence from the British thrash scene of yore rather than the German scene, unlike their fellow headbanging countrymen in Deathhammer. “Abbadon” is a perfect example of this and not only because it’s an obvious send up to the original drummer for Venom either. “The Grin From The Gallows” continues down this path with a very strong hook that is allowed to ring out and is very reminiscent of the Venom classic “Warhead”. The solos on this album are served up courtesy of ex-Mayhem guitarist Blasphemer who marks his return to the Aura Noir fold with this album. Pay particular attention to the solos on “Withheld” and “Priest’s Hellish Fiend”, the latter almost plays more like Venom than most Venom tracks. I got a chance to see Aura Noir play last year’s Maryland Deathfest and they ripped, Apollyon (who also plays bass in Immortal) even has the same skullet thing going on with his hair that Cronos does. Not saying that proves anything but this new album certainly shows that Aura Noir still have the chops of their youth almost 20 years now since they first appeared on the world scene while also managing to learn new tricks and improve upon their tried and true thrash technique. The old school ways die hard in the grim and frostbitten kingdom of Norway.