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Review for 'Aura Noir - Black Thrash Attack'
Getting the right mix of Old School Black Metal and Thrash Metal is certainly no easy task, effectively proven by the existence of countless mediocre bands that label themselves as Black / Thrash, however Norwegian veterans Aura Noir are more than experienced in both of these fields, and are second to none when it comes to fusing them together.
Shortly after Carl-Michael "Aggressor" Eide founded the band in 1993 and joined forces with multi-talented musician Ole "Apollyon" Moe, Aura Noir unleashed their first full length album, Black Thrash Attack, upon the world of metal in 1996. Throughout the album, Aggressor and Apollyon share all songwriting and instrumental duties, taking it in turns on each song to handle either the drumming, or guitars, bass, vocals and lyrics.
While you can be certain that Black Thrash Attack would still have been a killer album had Aggressor and Apollyon dedicated themselves entirely to their own individual specialities, the end result of this alternation between the musician's duties on each song gives the whole album that extra feeling of versatility and creativeness, with both musicians excelling in each of their individual performances on the album, regardless of the role.
Aura Noir obviously realized they had struck gold with this winning formula, or simply had it all planned from the beginning, as they would go on to incorporate the same songwriting method for all their future albums. Also worth mentioning is the collaboration on the album's title track "Black Thrash Attack" by Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen, a well known Norwegian guitarist who had replaced Euronymous in Mayhem two years earlier. Blasphemer would later become an integral part of Aura Noir, performing guitars on several of their full length album recordings.
So, as you can imagine, Black Thrash Attack is a real blast. Although the first track "Sons of Hades" contains some slightly unnerving and disharmonic guitar riffs, don't be put off, and just think of this as an unsettling introduction of sorts... an introduction made of pure metal, that is. In any case, the opening song doesn't take long to reveal it's other, more rhythmic side, giving the listener a taste of things to come: 10 metric fucktons of black thrashy goodness, and the party doesn't end until the last song is over. Some of the best tracks are "Conqueror", "Wretched Face Of Evil", "The Pest", "Destructor", and the title track "Black Thrash Attack".
No, wait, disregard that... it doesn't seem right to single out individual songs because every single track on Black Thrash Attack is just brilliant, making it possible for the whole album to be listened to repeatedly until your eardrums turn to leather. I'll draw the review to an early close, as there isn't that much more that can be said about Black Thrash Attack, as it essentially does everything it says on the cover, and more. It's a Black Thrash Fucking Attack I tell you!
What other albums sound similar to this?
Aura Noir have managed to infuse Thrash Metal into Old School Black Metal with legendary success on all of their releases, so you can check out each one knowing very well that you will be greeted with some amazing Black / Thrash from start to finish. Begin by checking out their follow-up album Deep Tracts Of Hell from 1998, which is basically just as fucking excellent as Black Thrash Attack. After that, you can move on chronologically through the rest of their discography, with The Merciless from 2004, followed by Hades Rise from 2008, and ending with their most recent album from 2012, Out To Die.
If five Aura Noir albums aren't enough for you, then maybe you should consider checking out The Cult Is Alive and F.O.A.D by fellow Norwegians Darkthrone, Hellfire's Dominion by Desaster, Fields Of Rot by Nocturnal Breed, Profane Prayer by Vulture Lord, Ritual by Master's Hammer, Death Nord Kult by Old Wainds, Envoy Of Lucifer by Nifelheim, Sorceress Bitch by Witchtrap, and Unchain The Wolves by Deströyer 666. If you like what you hear, then be sure to check out each individual band's other albums for even more excellent Black / Thrash hybrids, although bear in mind that Darkthrone's music has changed over the years, and only their post-1999 albums beginning with Ravishing Grimness fall within the same general category as Aura Noir.
In a nutshell...
When it comes to finding the perfect combination of Old School Black Metal and Thrash Metal, you can always count on Aura Noir, and when it comes to Aura Noir, it doesn't get much better than Black Thrash Attack. This is what Black / Thrash is all about, this is where it has been perfected. This is where attempting improvement becomes futile.
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