[commuter review] AURA NOIR – Out to Die (Indie Recordings)

You know those obnoxious people who listen to their iPods way too loudly on public transport? I think I’ve become one of them. I can tell, because of the repeated looks I get from people when they sit near me. Watching children’s reactions is quite enjoyable, too, because I’m never listening to anything most of them have ever heard before.

Like this week’s offering: AURA NOIR. As anybody who follows me on Twitter knows, Aura Noir is one of those bands that passed me by. I still haven’t listened to their discography, which a mate brought over.

Anybody who is already into the band is boxing my ears at this point and screaming obscenities. Because AURA NOIR’s version of black thrash is quite simply awesome.

As the technical, running axe work fills my environment, a fat man sits in front of me reading sports. To my left, a nerdy dude is reading about disease management. Every unremarkable person is bored, or reading, or tired and unimpressed looking. Hey you guys, in my ears is HAIL SATAAAAAANNNNNNN.

Out to Die makes the usual unremarkable ugliness of regular humanity even less remarkable. Even more regular.

After the next stop, this train is express to town. Language cannot express my disappointment at this. I’m only halfway through this damn thing.

Actually it is this track that features some unexpected drum fills. Track four: The Grin from the Gallows. I was kinda hoping it would expand into a drum solo, but it didn’t.

Listening to Out to Die at my local semi-rural train stop is also instructive. Why is this album not the soundtrack to the morning morass of enslaved soulless working class? Even though, from this train stop, the commuters would tell me that they’re middle class. Sorry honey, you’re enslaved just like the factory workers in Salisbury.

But anyway. This album is imbued with evil overtones, as black thrash should be. It’s hard to describe the typical nature of these riffs. Riffs that create midtones and undertones, setting the overall scene and tonality of the remainder, but also driving the tracks forward. The rhythm section supports it, but the guitars drive it.

Guitar-driven music. Thrash.

AURA NOIR do this so much differently to bands like Goatwhore. It’s professional but less polished. In the common eye, but underground. On a major label but with the sensibilities of those fabulous, kvlt, underground bands that you wish would produce music more often, would play live more frequently.

Fuck, look at me, waxing lyrical. Out to Die does this. It excites me more every time I hear it.

As far as being a commuter album, it’s not one of those releases you can really listen to just in the train and during the walk to work. You are far better off listening to this thing before your journey, during your journey, and on your way into work. You don’t want to miss even one piece of it. My train journey is roughly 20 mins to half an hour, depending on the driver. This album is over half an hour in length. Make sure you give yourself enough time to indulge.

And besides, it will give you the strength to face whatever shithole you work in. Cos let’s face it: all work is shit.

By contrast, great metal just gets better.

Just a note for the shufflers among you, this stands out. The sheer pace and energy in Out to Die will shock the shit out of you, especially if you have a lot of rock or doom or stoner stuff on your mp3 player.

Standout track? For me, third to last: Priest’s Hellish Fiend.

Go get this album when it’s out. More especially if you’re a SODOM fan. You will love it.

AURA NOIR’s OUT TO DIE IS IN STORES THIS MONTH: 23rd in Europe/World; 27th in the USA.



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