Aura Noir - Aura Noire
Indie Recordings
Blackened Thrash
9 songs (32:33)
Release year: 2018
Aura Noir, Indie Recordings
Reviewed by Goat

A perennial favourite, Norwegian trio Aura Noir are always welcome to drip their distinct and unique blend of black and thrash metal into your ears. They're the type of band that always release interesting music that stays on your playlist rather than being forgotten in favour of old favourites - rare in thrash! - and with just six albums in their multi-decade career, clearly favour quality over quantity. Perhaps not quite up to replacing past favourites like The Merciless or the to-the-point Black Thrash Attack, Aura Noire is still a fun, frantic album that fans will love. At times gnarly black metal more like Darkthrone than Dark Angel, at times a sort of chaotic galloping noise that sounds like Venom as played by very early Voivod thanks to some truly odd guitarwork - and at times, as on Mordant Wind, Aura Noir are both. Despite their age (the band were formed twenty-five years ago) they're still more than capable of writing terrific riffs, as the jangly opening to Dark Lung of the Storm proves from the start of the album. Neither Apollyon, Aggressor nor Blasphemer sound especially technical at first, but they've all been playing in bands for years (and in Aggressor's case, have survived falling out of windows) are all more than capable musicians and subsequent listens reveal how cleverly the songs are put together; the basswork woven through the riffs, the interesting drum patterns, the rapid changes of genre like Cold Bone Grasp's dips in and out of classic speed metal or The Obscuration's hardcore punk touches. The band clearly love this type of music enough to pump it full of passion and energy, the vocals especially are spat out like broken teeth, and again, the riffs are simply perfect, jagged, sharp, little worms digging their way into your brain and staying there.

There aren't really any sub-par tracks. Grave Dweller's slower, almost grinding groove evokes the necessary amount of horror and disgust at its subject matter, sounding like recent Darkthrone with a dose of rocket fuel up the arse, while there's no faulting the intensity and drive of Hells Lost Chamber, even with its atmospheric little interlude. And little moments like the Melechesh-esque middle-eastern touch to the main riff of The Obscuration work beautifully to keep you interested and headbanging, as if the rock-solid metal foundation of the music wasn't enough. If you had to pick a less than perfect track, it would be the simply-titled instrumental Outro, yet it's hardly bad - under two minutes of mid-paced, groovy riffing, catchy as hell, a perfect summary of the Aura Noir sound. It could just have easily been titled 'intro' and would have fit just as well at the start of the album; in any case, Aura Noire is a fine addition to the band's discography. On first listens I thought it solid enough but this really is some of their best work in a few albums, and is definitely worth your time; at just over half an hour a perfect slice of darkness.

Killing Songs :
Dark Lung of the Storm, Hells Lost Chamber, Mordant Wind
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Aura Noir that we have reviewed:
Aura Noir - Black Thrash Attack reviewed by Tony and quoted 87 / 100
Aura Noir - Out To Die reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Aura Noir - Hades Rise reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Aura Noir - The Merciless reviewed by Daniel and quoted 81 / 100
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