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Auroch - "From Forgotten Worlds" (CD)

Auroch - "From Forgotten Worlds" CD cover image

"From Forgotten Worlds" track listing:

1. From Forgotten Worlds (4:38)
2. Fleshless Ascension (Paths of Dawn) (4:45)
3. Slaves to a Flame Undying (5:16)
4. Dregs of Sanity (3:25)
5. Pathogenic Talisman (For Total Temporal Collapse) (4:37)
6. Terra Akeldama (3:59)
7. Bloodborne Conspiracy (5:21)
8. Tundra Moon (3:09)

Reviewed by on September 7, 2012

"While some of it is still rough around the edges, anyone who digs a non-stop brutal sound that blends the lines between black, death, and thrash, with both technical and old school leanings, should check this album out."

Newly breaking onto the death metal scene, Canada’s Auroch is tearing its way into the extreme metal consciousness with debut album “From Forgotten Worlds,” which is equal parts slimy tentacle madness and brutal metal destruction. For fans of death metal that just won’t let up who have heard pretty much everything the genre has to offer, “From Forgotten Worlds” provides a new and underground entry that offers a sold half-hour of non-stop headbanging material.

Thematically, the album draws from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, but it’s not much of a problem if those don’t interest a listener, as the vocals aren’t distinct enough to really be understood. The grunts and screams are guttural and mixed down enough to essentially be an instrument instead of a form of singing, and there’s not really any chance of even accidentally catching a stray word here or there.

“From Forgotten Worlds” is something a bit different from the norm, because these songs are steeped in blackened death metal, but there’s also more than a little thrash influence in the guitar playing. Everything also has a very noticeable technical edge, and tech-death fans will probably get as much out of it as people who prefer a raw and less intricate sound. While the song structures are fairly complex, there are very clear nods to the brutal, old school death metal sound that didn’t bother with any of the frilly extras. For the most part, it all works out well, with only a few sections that end up sounding too crowded with all the different influences vying for attention at the same time.

If the symphonic or progressive stuff is a turn-off, then Auroch’s debut will be a welcome addition to the musical library. The only song with anything approaching a melodic twist is “Bloodborne Conspiracy,” which uses an atmospheric opening segment for a sense of menace, but those sounds aren’t worked into the rest of the song, as the brutality can’t be held back for any length of time. To keep the formula from getting old without any non-heavy sections, the songs instead rely on sudden shifts in pacing and direction.

An echo of potential greatness can be heard throughout “From Forgotten Worlds,” and there’s definitely an extreme metal household name in the making here. While some of it is still rough around the edges, anyone who digs a non-stop brutal sound that blends the lines between black, death, and thrash, with both technical and old school leanings, should check this album out.

Highs: Manages to be both technical and raw at the same time, without going too far into one or the other.

Lows: Some of it sounds too crowded and the vocals are more backing instrument than anything else.

Bottom line: Auroch's debut offers an old school death metal sound with enough technicality to keep things interesting, and even some black and thrash influences to boot.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)