As great as black metal is, it’s almost better when combined with another subgenre. Aura Noir seem to know this, as their blend of black metal and thrash metal not only fits in a way that feels organic, but doesn’t feel like a hybrid at all. Their latest album, “Aura Noire” is rather short, but shows the how good blackened thrash metal is, albeit not with much diversity. “Dark Lung of the Storm” opens the album up, and does so very and heavy. This track is fast, and the songwriting is very good. The production is a bit rough, and took me a few minutes to get used to, but once I got passed it, it wasn’t a bother to me. This leads into “Grave Dweller”. This song slows things down just a little bit, opting to focus more on some great riffs. The ending of this song is pretty chaotic, but calculated at the same time.
Up next is “Hells Lost Chambers”. This is the first of two longer songs on the album, and introduces a dark tone to the band’s sound. The band slows down, which allows them to fill the time without this song seeming to overstay its welcome. This song is followed up by “The Obscuration”, which is extremely fast. There is no break as this song kicks in at breakneck speed, which while welcome, does feel a bit jarring. “Demoniac Flow” is the next song, and begins with just drums before the opening riff kicks in. The fast pace is matched with great writing and riffs, making this overall one of the better songs on here. “Shades Ablaze” has a very thrashy opening, and is a chaotic, well-written song that shows off even more riffs. This leads into “Mordant Wind”, the second of the longer songs on here. Again, the band slow this one down, as to not tire out the listener before the song is over. The band use their length to their advantage, and fill the time with some pretty interesting material.
“Cold Bone Grasp” is next, and has another nice riff to start it off. The solo on this song is also worth mentioning, and is very good. The album ends with “Outro”, a shorter instrumental track that is more than just a usual outro, and is a pretty good ending song. While it’s nothing fantastic, it does offer two solid minutes of instrumental thrash, which is nothing to complain about. This album is pretty good. It has some really high moments, unfortunately due to the lack of variety, and production I know will bother some people, it holds it back from being great. That being said, this album has some very good tracks, and if you like blackened music, probably has something very worthwhile to offer you.
Overall Score: 7.0/10
Review by Sam Hookom