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Abita - "Aureality" (CD)

Abita - "Aureality" CD cover image

"Aureality" track listing:

1. Stand (4:53)
2. Rise Fall Rise (3:44)
3. Away From (4:23)
4. Swept Away (3:04)
5. Pendulum (3:31)
6. Obverse (3:44)
7. Burning Youth (3:07)
8. Everything (4:29)
9. Fallen Hollow (3:32)
10. Day By Day (4:08)
11. Bordello Diablo (3:42)
12. You-Turn (3:54)

Reviewed by on June 1, 2009

"If you’re looking for a band with something new and different to offer, you better keep looking."

It’s kind of cool to be a band named after a beer; it’s even cooler when that beer company sponsors you. But once you get past the name and the starving artist, mismatched clothing look of Abita, the coolness pretty much ends. Their debut release, "Aureality," is an amateurish attempt at heavy rock with some yelling added in.

It’s not that "Aureality" is a terrible release, but it’s also not that great. One of the biggest obstacles is that Shaun "Fee" Hill tries to cover both guitar and bass, and since he doesn’t have two sets of arms, the result is a lot of songs that sound hollow, like they’re missing something. Female drummer Jenny "Yenny" (don’t you love it when all the band members have nicknames?) Fusco isn’t bad, but there are moments, particularly in "Everything," where her double snare tap is off tempo with the rest of the instruments, and sounds almost like a skip in a CD. Snare aside, "Everything" is one of the strongest tracks on the album, with a decent, chuggy intro and an overall dark hard rock sound.

"Swept Away" is also a promising track, and helps to point out that Abita’s strong point is their potential to be a mellow version of Blessed By A Broken Heart. Unfortunately, right now they sound like any other radio-friendly hard rock act. "Pendulum" is a gritty, grungey tune that sounds identical to all the other nearly metal bands on the airwaves, as does the opener, "Stand."

Perhaps one of the best and worst tracks is "Fallen Hollow," even though it sounds like a garage band tune that still needs some refining. I’d like to see them clean this one up a little and put it on a later album.

Vocalist Johny "Bodus" Winston is decent, with a melodic voice, but at times his chords sound strained, and at other times, thanks to not so great production, his voice gets drowned out by the instruments. Overall, though, he gives a solid performance, and is the glue that keeps "Aureality" rolling.

All this is not to say that Abita’s sound is terrible. If you’re a fan of heavy rock/metal acts, Abita may be just the thing for you. It’s just that if you’re looking for a band with something new and different to offer, you better keep looking.

Highs: Heavier sounds in "Swept Away" show Abita's potential.

Lows: Bass is nearly absent throughout the album, and drums make some very noticeable missteps.

Bottom line: Just another radio-friendly heavy rock/metal act with a cool name.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)