Aura Noir
Black Thrash Attack


4.0
excellent

Review

by Voivod STAFF
March 23rd, 2014 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The matrimony of ‘80s thrash and ‘90s black metal.

The ‘90s were a barren decade for thrash metal, give or take. Should some criminally neglected gems (think of Heathen’s Victims of Deception) be excluded, the genre appeared to be overmined, as opposed to the unexplored and more extreme sounding doom/death/black metal streams and their mixtures. On the other hand, progressive rock and its angrier metal offspring were gradually reinstated at the forefront. The few enduring ‘80s tech thrash outfits (Voivod, Mekong Delta etc.) fled progressively towards the said niche, while the rest of the surviving thrash metal pack migrated to different directions, with mixed results.

For better or for worse, thrash metal had been misplaced by its conjurers and faithful disciples alike. However, two members of the (then) newly established Norwegian death/black metal scene, multi-instrumentalists Carl-Michael Eide (aka Aggressor) and Ole Jørgen Moe (aka Apollyon), thought they could try a different angle with the genre and formed Aura Noir sometime around mid ‘90s. Debut EP Dreams Like Deserts (1995) set a solid piece of record regarding the matrimony of ‘80s thrash and ‘90s black metal; it was one year later though, that Aura Noir fleshed a more muscled version of their initial plan, with the release of their debut album Black Thrash Attack.

In so many words, Aura Noir go back to the not-so-distant past of ‘80s thrash metal (think of Venom/Slayer/early Kreator) and filter it through the aesthetics of Norwegian second-wave black metal. Endorsed by a coarse grained sound production, the said blend is further alloyed to Celtic Frost and (at times) ‘70s heavy rock groove. The rhythm guitars stay close to the speeding rhythm section, with lightning-fast/weird time signature shifts (“Sons of Hades”, “Caged Wrath”) and really addictive mid-tempo segments (“The Pest”, “Black Thrash Attack”) spicing things up. Vocally and lyrically, the much lauded nihilism introduced by Venom and perfected by early ‘90s black metal vocalists, is served complements of both Aggressor and Apollyon.

In terms of instrumental arrangements and vocals, Aggressor and Apollyon have shaped an interesting pact. At the odd-numbered tracks Aggressor handles vocals/strings and Apollyon is drumming, whereas on at even-numbered tracks, the roles are swapped. The differences in the vocal styles are really subtle, but the instrumental polarization grants the album further intrigue. On one end, Apollyon’s staccato riffing is complemented by Aggressor’s frantic but precise/technical drumming. That arrangement leads to somewhat more traditional speed/thrash metal alleys, save the black metal vocals of course. On the other (end), Apollyon’s raw (almost punk) drumming fits perfectly with Aggressor’s "twister" riffs, which bear some of the avant-garde black metal wizardry evidenced in Ved Buens Ende, Mayhem and Thorns.

In a nutshell, Black Thrash Attack sounds like a split release of two slightly different outfits, with the generated diversity working in favor of the album’s replay value. The quality of the material presented herein, along with the album’s self-explanatory title, signified the birth of a genre that counts 18 years of prolific existence. Well done, really well done.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


6149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

pissbore
March 22nd 2014


9935 Comments


fuck yes killer album bout time this got rev'd

SharkTooth
March 22nd 2014


4606 Comments


it's about time I picked this up

Digging: Juke FX - Juke Inside

RunOfTheMill
March 23rd 2014


1477 Comments


Nice review, Voivod. I like how you properly distinguish the two musicians, and tell us about their slightly different styles. Sounds interesting, will check at some point :D

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


6149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If you like thrash and black/thrash, this album will be highly rewarding.

During the first few listening sessions, I recognized Aggressor's drumming immediately, because I'm a Ved Buens Ende/Virus fanboy, but it was obvious that he wasn't the sole drummer in the album. So I searched things a bit more and I found out about the instrumental crossover with Apollyon.

Panzerchrist
March 23rd 2014


127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Beastly album. Props on the review for getting it out there.

manosg
March 23rd 2014


6140 Comments


Glad to see this one reviewed and even though I remember reading somewhere about the band/album, I've never listened to it. Great review too man.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

Wizard
March 23rd 2014


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you for reviewing these guys Voivod. Great review as usual. They were always amazing at melting genres together. I think they got more into death metal as the years went on, I can't remember though, it's been too long since I've give this and their other albums a proper listen. Probably going to put this on my Ipod tonight and blasting it on my way to work tomorrow.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


6149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys.

I really can't say anything about the rest of the Aura Noir albums, gotta check them out at some point.

pissbore
March 23rd 2014


9935 Comments


deep tracts of hell is awesome as well

Wizard
March 23rd 2014


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really can't say about the rest of the Aura Noir albums, gotta check them out at some point.

I whipped through them years ago and I can't remember the quality too well meaning they probably weren't as memorable as this. As a matter of fact, I put this onto my Ipod for tomorrow's drive to work hahahaha as promised!

DominionMM1
March 23rd 2014


9993 Comments


saw these guys at mdf a few years ago. had no idea they've been around as long as they have.

Gyromania
March 24th 2014


15791 Comments


this is insanely boring and the production is so flat

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Itwasthatwas
March 24th 2014


770 Comments


^fuck off this is an incredible album

Gyromania
March 24th 2014


15791 Comments


i hate to disagree with someone sporting such an awesome avatar, but this is such a snoozefest

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2014


6149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Give it some time to grow Gyro, I wasn't impressed at first, but the album picked up a lot of gain afterwards.

panagiotis
March 25th 2014


192 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Aura Noir kick ass and this album is legendary. Great review as always Voivod

Ovrot
March 25th 2014


10495 Comments


i bet this kicks ass

Wizard
March 25th 2014


19444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i hate to disagree with someone sporting such an awesome avatar, but this is such a snoozefest

NO FUCKING WAY JOSE!

Gyromania
March 25th 2014


15791 Comments


voivod: funny you should say that because i'm finding this far more enjoyable on third listen.



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