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Canada Is Awesome - 80%

FullMetalAttorney, December 20th, 2013

There are hundreds of bands playing old-school death metal these days. Almost all of them can be succinctly described: This one sounds like Morbid Angel, that one is Swe-death, the other one is an Incantation clone. Very few have managed to sound old-school while being unique. Auroch is one of those few.

The Canadian three-piece have the popular Incantation-style production, murky and evil. Many would be satisfied by that alone. They’d play some equally murky and evil (yet mundane) riffs and call it “atmosphere.” That’s not enough for Auroch.

These guys are far more likely to play some early Florida riffs with that atmosphere, along with sickening Morbid Angel leads. But it doesn’t end there. The guitars are surprisingly showy for OSDM, though less Decapitated shred-fest and more Cryptopsy meticulous serial killer ritual. They go deathgrind at times (“Pathogenic Talisman (For Total Temporal Collapse)”), blackened at others (“Terra Akeldama”). They even throw in some Immolation-style lurching riffs (“Tundra Moon”). The vocals are appropriately broad as well, ranging from a typical death growl, to rasping, to almost-pig-squeals. Mitochondrion’s Shawn Hache also makes an appearance, but that’s probably the least awesome part.

This music has everything that OSDM is supposed to be: catchy, evil, and the exact opposite of the over-polished sound of the modern death metal masses. Add into that some Seagrave-esque artwork, and you have a product that could have been a highly influential record from 1992. Do not pass this one by.

originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/

FROM FORGOTTEN WORLDS - 95%

BlackDuck, March 22nd, 2013

‘From Forgotten Worlds’ counts as another good release hailing from the very active Vancouver metal scene this year. Not very often do I get the chance to review bands I am quite familiar with, bands I have seen growing, evolving right before my eyes. And I am pleased this album sounds great and I can say good things about it. This is not exactly Auroch's first release but it counts as their first full-length and it comes through the Polish label HellThrasher Productions. It certainly is an album that was well prepared. Ever since I heard the first track they put out before the release date, I knew I was in for some form of sheer sonic violence, and that is pretty much an Auroch staple.

Released just in October 2012, the album includes 8 songs charged with blackened heaviness that will assault your ears with rough sonorities more specific to the 80s or mostly 90’s underground brutal death metal bands. Think of Timeghoul, Depravity, Abhorrence, early Morgoth. A weak attempt to indicate just a direction here but hopefully you’ll get the picture. It sounds maybe classic but not expired, as Auroch polishes and pushes it further, adding well mastered, technical elements that will surely delight.

What will set the mood from the very beginning is the lovecraftian feel (the band is often described as ‘Lovecraftian death metal’), its somberness, and then the pulverizing pace. Guitarists Sebastian Montesi and Paul Ouzounov launch into intense dual riffing passages that sound ruthless. It’s technically intriguing yet not overdone. Crushing, well sustained tempo changes and transitions abound, it might take you a bit to sort out the apparent chaos and find your way through the atonality and the intermittent blasting passages - but believe me it’s hard to let go.

The few dark, atmospheric intros are amazing, and this is where you perceive the lovecraftian mood at its best. Songs like ‘Dregs of Sanity’ and ‘Terra Akeldama’ -probably my favorite track- bring out guitar arpeggios that sound as haunting as the dark song intros. There’s great musicianship on the album. Sebastian Montesi is one unforgiving, maniac vocalist, bursting out evil sounds from deep growls to raspy, possessed shrieks; the vocals don't really stand out they simply contribute to the overall sound more than overpowering everything. It's the guitars, the menacing solos and the hard-hitting drum work that get the spotlight on this album.

Songs to remember: From Forgotten Worlds, Terra Akeldama, Bloodborne Conspiracy

While lately I've delved into more mellow atmospheric metal, this album presents itself as a mean slap I needed to wake up. As terrible as it might sound, it is actually thrilling. If you crave a good dose of brutal death metal I highly recommend you check out this release. Certainly a great effort from a young band that can only get better if current direction is being maintained. I will refrain from making any more comparisons to find an equivalent for their sound, it's death metal, it's brutal, it's original, give it a listen. These guys can shred.

Originally published on www.metaltitans.com

Youthful, Precise and Punishing Death Metal - 80%

fatos666, March 22nd, 2013

It’s unusual and refreshing to hear a young brutal technical death metal band concentrating on the tales of one H.P. Lovecraft, a band that has changed from their initial beginnings as a thrash band to a death metal band that ranks rather highly in the current worldwide scene as a result of their gifted musicianship and vision. The title tracks certainly starts out by letting everyone know that these are no modern trend followers, their music flickers between influences as far reaching as Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and even some marginal Dying Fetus comparisons, that is, bands that can play, bands that can have aggressive death metal and still pull off arrangements and guitar riffs that would make only the most hardened death metal head think twice before pledging allegiance.

‘Slaves to a Flame Undying’ begins with a haunting intro and then the hammer comes down soon after with some marked US east coast death metal ensuring some rabid fretwork is of the kind that only very few bands can pull off. I commend the time signature changes, the riffs, the brash overstatement and depth of such tracks; this is a young band from Vancouver that has a formidable arsenal at their fingertips. If you need further examples then check out ‘Tundra Moon’, if this is not a track that can be connected to some of the great in this field, then I think you need to take a good hard look at your own mind and musical taste to be rather blunt about it!

Awash with genre leading technical ability and a lyrical content breathing thought provoking inspiration with a clear intention to succeed. This they may well do, succeed that is, this is refreshing, rather than (as per usual) younger bands simulating cookie monsters with no real musical ability. Auroch happily break the mould by applying their trade effortlessly and ‘From Forgotten Worlds’ is one of the technical old school US death metal releases of recent times. For a band’s debut release, I can only salivate at the prospect of further inspirational death metal coming from these Canadians, it wipes the floor with many of their peers and that’s not normally an easy thing to do.

Originally written for www.brutalism.com

Auroch hold their own - 80%

Qella, March 21st, 2013

I’ve come to expect certain things from death metal albums. I’ve also come to realize there are certain things I don’t want to hear on a death metal album. Much to my delight, From Forgotten Worlds by Vancouver’s Auroch is firmly entrenched on the “delivers to expectations” end of the spectrum. The box may not have a pretty bow on it but at least there’s no damage to the package.

When we open the box we find the contents to be quite reflective of the packaging. The album cover is dark and somewhat ominous. Devoid of light and sinister. And so is the music. The album is packed with the kind of circle headbang-inducing riffage my preferred style of death metal encompasses. They don’t call it breakneck for nothing. Not that the entirety is simply “go for broke” speed. Coming from thrash origins, Auroch brings the elements of that style in to the fold as well, at times galloping with apocalyptic horsemen. The speed is common to both thrash and death but there is bruising mixed with the blistering. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them mosh parts but those parts tend to induce that full body bang I employ much to my back’s chagrin (and lack of hair). Those tempo changes may be gut punchers but it’s a pleasurable pain.

Also common to both thrash and death metal are the solos. Well done indeed, but it’s hard sometimes to really qualify metal solos without Dimebag Darrell around as that measuring stick anyway. In addition to the more technical guitar work the dexterous solos enhance From Forgotten Worlds rather than detract from it. As if well executed death-thrash wasn’t enough if we look in the box again we’ll find that it’s lined with black. All aspects of the album are touched by black metal influence. From the mood to some swirling riffs to Zach Chandler‘s blasting drums, black metal seeps it’s cold fingers between the cracks. Nowhere is this more evident than on the vocals.

Co-guitarists/vocalists Sebastian Montesi and Paul Ouzounov spew their Lovecraftian worship in both bestial death metal growl and hair-raising blackened shrieks. The haunting howls and bellows may be largely indecipherable but anything less caked in blood and cobwebs just wouldn’t make sense.

Death metal is becoming such a saturated genre that a new band may feel the need to stand out by doing something completely off the map. But I feel it’s just as important to simply stand up. Auroch hold their own with solid chops, memorable riffs and killer vocals.

Originally published at hellbound.ca: http://www.hellbound.ca/2012/12/auroch-from-forgotten-worlds/

The New Cosmic Horror - 90%

UndisputedSol, March 16th, 2013

The death metal rivers have all dried up, the cessation of a flow that is even more evident with the radiations of lost brilliance and grace, coming from an enemy residing high up in the sky. The death metal world suffers a drought of ideas and thoughts, this impurity of a stagnation is like a spiralling decline into the void of death itself. Still a star shines at this darkest hour, and its shadows hang under the tundra moon that of fogs and mists forgathered. It is an entity rising from the hungering depths and it demands to be heard. In raging tongues, it speaks of dignified works of true quality and calibre that seems to be lost from the wombs of forgotten worlds. It is the None So Vile, and it sits on the heavy foundations of the Altars of Madness, basking in the glory of the Considered Dead. The sighting of the beast is ever so clear now and as it opens its mouth-watering jaws, it hereby proclaims itself as a new yet a strong enemy of the sun. Let the showers of praise’s rain upon this sturdy body of fierce and wholesome might. Come one, come all. Consume and rejoice, for its name is Auroch.

Auroch was spawned in 2006 as a thrash metal act which was formerly known as Tusk, and one of few rare ones who is standing strong against this catastrophe. Fast-forward to the year of 2008, it sees a changing of name and a procession into successful runs of a series of demos. Majority of them received critical acclaim from the underground, and so the call for attention was achieved. Possessing that of a passionate fire that literally breathes through the underground, their efforts caught the attention of Hellthrasher Productions. Building up the hype over the long, arduous years, it then crushes down to an announcement of a new full-length due to release later this year, intriguing the deepest of interests in many of the underground dwellers. And so, the band sees it as a perfect opportunity to introduce the new and revamped sound that Auroch is moving forward in. This new sense of direction also sees teaser releases of several songs from the upcoming album, From Forgotten Worlds which further elevates the level of anticipation. It was originally scheduled for a release in late August this year, however it got delayed to October. Then, a full listen to the upcoming masterpiece suggests that the wait was all worth it. It is a deliverance from all doubts, embellished with the overwhelming aspects of completion.

From Forgotten Worlds weight heavily with surges of Lovecraftian poetries, and while it takes influences from some of the cornerstones of the genre, it sounds nothing like its musical ancestors. Instead, it thrives on a unique formulation of the old school and brutal death metal into the creation of a stand-alone piece, possessing that of a high sense of technicality and originality. Furthermore, residing within the suburbs of the metal thriving Canada, Auroch shines effortlessly without the need for distinction. Mostly known to metallers as a technical death metal mecca, Canada has also fostered a rising, fast-moving movement that stirs deep within the underground. It is no secret now that Canada also sees to the darker sides of things, to the likes of Weapon, Mitochondrion and many other promising entities. Auroch is somehow or rather caught in the middle, possessing qualities to the best of both worlds and a sense of uniqueness that is devoid of any replications. Auroch is yet another nail on the metal map, securing Canada with a firm placing that it rightfully deserved.

Moving on, the disgusting contrast between the screams and growls is perhaps the first musical demonstration that shows the band at its highest form. As the swallowing masses of putridity and filth are deeply and lowly regurgitated, the fried burning rasps breaks out of its form to an all-time high. Unrelenting at its delivery, the vocal presentations can only be described as the most sickest and vilest in terms of words. This merciless ear assault is of course pleasurable to the most abrasives of ears, but for the ones who attempt to revel in such greatness, I would strongly suggest that you seek treatment as soon as possible. But this heavy slab of an abomination is not without its sophistication as the art of the grotesque is further intensified in the quality works of the guitars. From Forgotten Worlds is shouldered upon the breaking, groove-laden rhythms that are scattered throughout the album. Serving as a basis for a ton of things to come, it is accompanied with the array of harmonious, soaring melodies, all capable to the lifting of the spirits. Travelling freely on the context of the fret board, it is like an endless journey of a restless vagabond, yet never to rest on a settling home. And as the flying fingers come rushing in at different placing on the now overly unsettling fret board, the frantic noises and crazy disorientations can only suggest that of a mature elaboration of guitar solos. Wild in its attacks, it leaves listeners dumbfounded in its awe, which can only lead to the praising of the fingers which are comparable even to that of Trey Azagthoth and Karl Sanders.

Those who have not witness its viciousness cannot apprehend the overwhelming madness that is at hand. What we have here is the prowess of a stunning musicianship, with a high degree of song writing skills to boot. The roads that they lay down themselves are leading them to a bright and successful future, tirelessly carved with their bloodied efforts and ever dripping sweats. Equally praised by reviewers worldwide and alike, it is a consensus that is shared amongst similar minds. The results? The reception of massively high ratings in different scales that are still coming in as we speak. It is definitely an album that should not be underappreciated or moreover, missing a place in your top 10 list this year. Now, follow the entrails to the crowded tombs where the callings to the most Ancient One could be distinctly heard, and where the distorted power chords are sounding the awakening of the dead but dreaming. For even Cthulhu would be proud.

From Forgotten Worlds - 80%

theBlackHull, January 13th, 2013

Unleashing their black Lovecraftian assault upon the Great White North, young Vancouver’s Auroch has the ability to conjure extreme metal and demonic horrors altogether. A first full length album after a series of demos and splits in the trash genre, From Forgotten Worlds is the band stepping loudly into the death metal realm.

Blackened death metal has never been my cup of tea, although I know my classics and listen from time to time to icons like Deicide, Vader, Morbid Angel, or Possessed. When it comes to more recent bands in the Behemoth or Hate Eternal trends, I often get saturated after a few tracks, and never make it through a full album. Therefore, it was both a surprise and a delight to hear Auroch, and to taste the pure blood running through their vein. Songs like “Dregs of Sanity”, or “Terra Akeldama”, for example, show clear influences of early Deicide in their guitar arrangements and vocal patterns.

There are many reasons why From Forgotten Worlds is a relatively easy album to listen to from start to finish. The first reason is that, since Slayer released Reign in Blood, we now know that an album can be short and still be perfect, as long as it’s 100% efficient. From Forgotten Worlds has only 8 songs and clocks at 35 minutes, but every song are excellent and complement each other. There are those that catch your attention immediately, like “Slaves to a Flame Undying” or the title track, some more straightforward like “Pathogenic Talisman (For Total Temporal Collapse)”, and other songs that need a few listen to reveal themselves as the true gems of the album, like “Fleshless Ascension (Paths of Dawn)” or “Tundra Moon”. All in all, these slight variations of extreme death metal tonalities provide just enough balance to maintain the listener’s attention without compromising the focus of the album.

Another reason why From Forgotten Worlds is a pleasant journey is the craftsmanship of the album itself. If the trash metal roots of Auroch weight in considerably – for the best –, it helps reveal the organic and ‘true’ character of metal in the blackened death genre. Guitars are fast and abrasive; vocals are a loud growl shouted from the throat or sometimes accompanied by a higher pitch (“Bloodborne Conspiracy”); while the drum is incredibly fast, somehow closer to early Kataklysm or Gorguts, and wisely showcased at the forefront of the music like Cryptopsy. There isn’t any use of triggers in the mix, and guitars are flowing naturally as if they were recorded in a single take. This element of honesty brings a bombastic, adrenalized, muscle-burning attack to the album. A case in point, opening track “From Forgotten Worlds” changes speed a few times without ceremony – seemly ignoring the Holy Metronome so precious in today’s studio productions – with the ballsy result of sounding as clever as any complicated time signature. In other words, by revisiting the roots of death metal, Auroch created an album that sounds incredibly fresh.

This music breathes anger and sweats horror. It would be an error not to mention the beautiful artwork showcased on the cover of the album, for we find here some dark imaginary architecture that would nicely fit one of Lovecraft’s short stories. Such an effort to bind the monochromatic music and the visual qualities of the lyrics has proven to be very rewarding, as it reflects all the qualities of this monstrous marriage, consumed by the shadows…

-theBlackHull
(originally written for blog.metalmadeincanada.ca)

Not satisfying to my taste for DM - 60%

dismember_marcin, December 3rd, 2012

Hellthrasher Productions consequently do their work in searching for some interesting new bands around the globe and their recent findings are bands like Abysme, War Possession, Engulfed and Auroch. My listening session of all their releases I decided to begin with an album titled “From Forgotten Worlds” from Canadian Auroch. I honestly never heard of this band before, but Metal Archives says there’s an impressive dose of four demos and some splits, which Auroch has recorded prior to their debut album, so you can definitely say they’re not coming out of nowhere. But really the first thing, which caught my attention was a truly awesome front artwork of “From Forgotten Worlds”, with this sort of “Alien” movie feeling to it, which I like a lot. So it was obviously yet another reason why I really wanted to listen to Auroch as first.

My impression after few spins of “From Forgotten Worlds” is quite mixed. From one hand I can see a potential in Auroch, the fact that this band is way more original than most of the other young acts, but from the other hand the style of Auroch is not my personal favourite and while I can pick up some parts of “From Forgotten Worlds”, which I liked, then there are more than few, which I’m not so fond of. Auroch plays sort of technical dark death metal and one can say there’s also a huge progressive influence in their riffs, so the overall style of Auroch is definitely way different to most of the stuff you may know and despite some similarities to this or another band (Death, but way more brutal?) it has rather different feeling and atmosphere. And I don’t know… there definitely is something intriguing in this band, I mean their progressive style is often colliding with their passion to play as fast and furiously as possible, when it often gets close to the grinding death metal, with the vocals more obscure and harsh, almost black metal ones. I must admit though that Auroch may actually be one of the very few bands, where I can say that I don’t like their faster parts so much. And it’s not the way how Auroch shifts between these tempos and moods, but rather the fact that the music tends to become completely chaotic and cacophonic when played fast is the reason why I don’t like it so much.

And while there definitely are some truly killer parts, like in the title song or in “Fleshless Ascension”, where I liked that slower, more melancholic part and when there are some almost Morbid Angel-esque riffs in “Dregs of Sanity” or “Slaves to a Flame Undying” then they will always be overshadowed by those more annoying fragments. “Dregs of Sanity”, with its technically advanced riffing and drumming and complicated structures is kind of a worse example, in my opinion. At some point I just cannot focus what the hell is Auroch playing, because the whole music becomes too cacophonic and goes in the direction, which I don’t like so much. And on top of all that I must also say that I don’t like the vocals’ arrangements. I just don’t like the way they (vocals) sound and how they’re performed and here I can give you “Pathogenic Talisman (For Total Temporal Collapse)” as an example.

After several listening of “From Forgotten Worlds” I can say that this music just doesn’t speak to me. Although I admit that Auroch is an exceptional band, for their original and uncommon attitude towards the music, but it just doesn’t work for me. It is not memorable at all, it is too weird and this is probably why I swallow those simpler and more straight forward parts of “From Forgotten Worlds” like it was my last breath (like those few exceptionally good riffs from the title song or the opening theme for “Tundra Moon”), because the rest is almost suffocating me with their dose of sounds. So, what can I say… I hoped that “From Forgotten Worlds” will be something groundbreaking and I feel very disappointed. I think I can say that this is the album I liked least from all the recent Hellthrasher releases.
Standout tracks: “From Forgotten Worlds”

Cyphers of inclement, intimate chaos - 70%

autothrall, September 5th, 2012

Apart from its gorgeous cover, which looks like the concept art for some frightening MMO/RPG dungeon, the first thing I noticed about Auroch was their rather distinct take on death metal that isn't so prevalent these years. Aesthetically, From Forgotten Worlds dwells upon the precipice of both sheer 90s brutality and older school viscera, lanced through by acrobatic guitar athletics that race all over the fretboard. As such, they avoid the claptrap of cavernous emissions so commonplace in younger bands of this era, and at the same time they eschew other stereotypes like the surgical polish of West Coast carnage or the Swedish tone that many new wave death mavens cling to. Classic death metal tempered with a technicality that never excludes decades of the genre's evolution.

Admittedly, this full-length debut is often a bit too spastic and passive/aggressive for its own good, and the Canadians often shift into varied transitions that feel cluttered and claustrophobic against one another, but once they settle into a particular, chugging groove or vicious runs of churning tremolo lead/melody, they excel. There are also a number of fine ambient passages throughout (like the intros to "Talisman for Total Temporal Collapse" or "Slaves to a Flame Undying"), or slower, atmospheric sequences where the guitars are given dissonant breath, and these help to break up the flurries of speed, at the risk of creating even more of an overall contrast. Vocals are shared between a guttural bark and blackened rasp, neither of which I thought were prominent enough in the mix or all that interesting, somewhat subordinate to the guitar passages, but they do add to the album's sum variation and are often spat out in ghastly conjunction. I'd also comment that the drummer and guitarist are quite skilled: I wasn't always picking up what they were putting down, but in terms of sheer dexterity and technicality, they've got proficiency aplomb.

This album is best when its at its most consistent, like the track "Terra Akeldama", which is a pretty straight shot of harried, clinical death metal with loads of drum breaks and discordant, punishing drama. The mix throughout is nice and natural, not overly dusted off or exceedingly 'modern', and this adds credence to the band's individuality. Trying to list the wealth of influences in this music would be a daunting task, but at times I would make comparisons to earlier Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel, perhaps fellow Canadian black/death hybrids like Adversarial or Begrime Exemious in that natural, unfettered tone they diffuse. All told though, even if I wasn't always sold on the oft clamorous dynamics that comprised this debut, a few of its puzzle pieces slapped together in haphazard, incongruent patterns, it's pretty sporadic and fascinating. I was happy to read that the band had recently hooked up with Hellthrasher Productions, a cool Polish imprint with other great bands like Hell United and Intestinal on the roster, and some solid distribution channels. While not entirely consistent or memorable, From Forgotten Worlds is certainly ambitious, and there is a boundless potential at play here, which, further refined, could prove unstoppable.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com