Auras
Binary Garden


3.0
good

Review

by Wayfarer1991 USER (10 Reviews)
July 17th, 2019 | 21 replies


Release Date: 07/12/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Auras continue to play loud and sound polished while embracing some less than exciting metalcore tropes.

Public service announcement: if you appreciate technical, mathy, heavy-ass metalcore and haven’t perused Auras’ back catalogue, then congratulations—you’ve played yourself. Don’t do that. Don’t be daft. Be smart.

That’s my advice about the band’s earlier work. This is a review of Binary Garden, however, the brand new full length from the boys.

There is a lot about Binary Garden that is par for the course: excellent riffing, actually good and interesting djenty djents, stellar production, and another consistent performance from one of metal’s more powerful (and underappreciated) harsh vocalists. In all this, Auras have honored their commitment to delivering a surprisingly identifiable and undeniably high-quality product in a genre that so many love to hate.

Unfortunately, now comes time to talk about some salient changes to the Auras template. It really seems like, just as the sun rises, so too do so many metalcore bands eventually stray from the light (perhaps I should say the dark). I’m talking, of course, about what happens when these bands “mature”. Maturation inevitably means one thing in this context: a push toward simpler song structures and, well, generic (which is not to say unlistenable) clean vocals, features which this album exploits more than any of its predecessors. I can’t help but be a skeptic here: I just don’t think maturation as a band requires or calls for anything like these sorts of changes.

Alright, before I get accused of doing violence to the band's true narrative let me preempt what you, having listened to this record, might be thinking: “the band is not making any claim to having matured. They just wanted to write a different record. They want to sing and djent at the same damn time.”

For all I know, you’re right. Nor should I be all that surprised, since the changes here aren’t entirely unprecedented. We got our first taste for what was to come with the closer “Boundless” off of their 2015 EP, Crestfallen, and further foreshadowing came from cuts like “Stars” off of the band’s previous full-length album, Heliospectrum. I didn't mind these tracks, though I thought they were dwarfed by their more sonically ambitious (and yes, heavier) brethren on their respective releases. Now, however, the transition is more or less complete: Auras have embraced a template for which I harbor very little warmth.

Let me also say that Auras ought to do whatever they want, and that I expect no sympathy for my (lightly) salty take. Surprising as it may sound, I rank Cheetos pretty low on my salty snack tier list and I hate Mountain Dew. I even lift twenty pound weights sometimes. Nevertheless, I have to stand my ground: you will be hard pressed to convince me that Auras hasn't made a move in a more generic, less interesting direction.

Let me reiterate, however, that there’s plenty to dig here and that, in the right mood, my concerns have lay dormant on some listens. Finally, let me shill for the band as best I can given the view I've taken on this record: if you’re a glutton for metalcore tropes mixed with actual musical acumen, this is likely to be your best bet for 2019. Auras has always been a cut above most of their contemporaries, and the same is probably true now, even if Binary Garden has slightly altered my sense of who their contemporaries are.



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user ratings (18)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SteakByrnes
July 18th 2019


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh shit I didn't even know these guys were coming out with anything new, gotta check this

SteakByrnes
July 18th 2019


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This slaps

ramon.
July 18th 2019


3707 Comments


Review is spot on. Last paragraph absolutely rings true, and as someone who has a lot of fun with the tropes on offer, this is about as good as it gets. Pos dude.

pizzamachine
July 18th 2019


14257 Comments


How did I miss these guys 😯

Durrzo
July 18th 2019


2124 Comments


"another consistent performance from one of metal’s more powerful (and underappreciated) harsh vocalists."

Disagree hard with this. Dude is very one-dimensional and sits pretty firmly with the average vocalists in the genre, and he doesn't touch the more capable ones. The cleans here break up what would be an otherwise stale vocal performance and I'm grateful for them.

I liked this when I started the album but it's all pretty samey. I was over it by the time the record was over.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2019


11216 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

A djenty-boys album? Time to ask the all-important question...



does



it



B O U N C E ????

Digging: No Note - if this is the future then I'm in the dark

SteakByrnes
July 19th 2019


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

y'all wack

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2019


11216 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It B O U N C E real good

SteakByrnes
July 19th 2019


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It riffs yea

Wayfarer1991
July 19th 2019


74 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ey Durrzo, I think those complaints are valid, though I tried to word my claim in a way that was neutral on what you're saying. 'Powerful' doesn't entail dynamic. On that point I'm inclined to agree: I just think the actual screams are fucking nice.

Laen
November 29th 2019


463 Comments


Couldn't really understand why this was reviewed a 3.0 from your review. From what I can see, you rated it lower than their previous albums, because of the clean singing and standardized song structure.

Also yeah, his screams are average and one-dimensional.

SteakByrnes
November 29th 2019


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

slaps

JeetJeet
November 29th 2019


8095 Comments


Wonder if this tops Panacea.

Digging: $ilkmoney - Attack of the Future Shocked, Flesh Covered, Meatb

Wayfarer1991
December 2nd 2019


74 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey Laen, you're pretty much right about why I rated it lower. I'm not sure why that's confusing?

Wayfarer1991
December 2nd 2019


74 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In fairness, this could be a 3.5.

bigweinerdon
April 6th 2020


528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Funny how these guys are better than most popular prog metalcore bands, but are so underrated. Ill never understand

SteakByrnes
April 6th 2020


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They aren't good at getting their name out there

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
April 6th 2020


11216 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

In fairness, it's easy to catch a following these days. But getting to the top of the scene and garnering significant acclaim hinges very much on luck, advertising or no advertising.

bigweinerdon
April 6th 2020


528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think just every time I listen to Pseudo Intellect the songs so good their underrated-ness just astounds me

SteakByrnes
April 6th 2020


18758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heliospectrum tho



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