Starting off known as Tusk
, this Canadian death metal group formed in 2006 in Vancouver
and later changed its moniker to Auroch
. After participating in a few split releases and putting out a couple demos, as well as their debut full-length "From Forgotten
Worlds," they struck a deal with Profound Lore Records (Evoken
). This subsequently led to the release of their second full-length "Taman Shud
" in 2014.
The musicianship, while not without its flaws, is quite solid. The vocals, for starters, mainly consist of your typical death metal growls, but in the background, there are high-pitched screams that fade in and out on occasion. This was probably intended to underscore the album's haunting atmosphere, which at times it does, but tends to sound a bit distracting in that they are somewhat randomly placed. Meanwhile
, the guitars and drums, although a bit slippery at times, show their prowess rather nicely with lots of technicality in both fields.
Production-wise, it's very clear that this album was headed towards a raw type of sound to match the band's old-school death metal style, and it succeeds. It's a welcoming type of aura for fans of the said genre, with the instruments sounding very unpolished and the vocals echoing quite a bit. At the same time, however, the music also sounds clear enough for modern fans to be roped in, so both old and new listeners are satisfied simultaneously. Because of this, the production is a strong aspect of this record due to its versatility.
When it comes to the song construction, the music itself is built as solid as concrete, with each track being concise and well tied-together. It's composed of traditional death metal laden with blast-beats, growls, and deep-tone guitar play. However, there are also hints of black metal influence within pretty much each track, thus upping the record's raw and sinister sound. The formula works overall, because the album knows how to deliver well-structured music without trying too hard to punish its audience with bludgeoning tunes.
On the other hand, however, the main problem with this release is that while it's tightly-built, it's not that memorable. There are some standouts, including the grooves in both "Noxious Plume" and "Defixio," but aside from that, there isn't much to the record to stick to the listener's brain and leave a bold impression on the listener. The album has the construction of the music down fine, but the tracks tend to be a bit too monotonous to be that memorable ride.
With all pros and cons weighed out, even though "Taman Shud
" is far from perfect, it's still a decent death metal release. All of the elements work fine despite any hiccups, with the sturdy writing, occasional hooks, and powerful sound mixing. As such, both old-school and modern death metal fans will likely enjoy it, for once again, it is a good album; It just doesn't have quite enough power and awe for it to be considered a great record rather than a merely good one.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/