Aura Noir - The Merciless
Old school as a definition is often used when it comes to numerous genres of metal, but after some listening to the latest Aura Noir album, The Merciless, I wonder if this phrase hasn't been a bit misused previously. These Norwegians third full length album, released on the Tyrant Syndicate, is truly a work filled with really old and dirty mid-tempo thrash, common to the one that bands like Celtic Frost, Destruction and Sodom represented in the early- and mid eighties.
Regarding this genre of metal, I would say that the production are ok, the word clean seems to have been strictly forbidden during the recording sessions. The sound is very much early Celtic Frost and Venom, unpolished and raw. Just listen to the Black Metal Jaw and Black Deluge Night. The difference from mentioned band must be that this is more well played and have better structures. It's easy to feel good about this retro stuff, but after a while I'm not so sure about it. It takes a lot to pull off a full length album with these straight and mid-tempo songs.
If this had been a mini album, I think that it would have worked better with this kind of material. There are a few weak and monotone songs too much for for it to be really interesting. But there are some nice pearls in this blackened thrash soup, like the furious Funeral Thrash and Merciless. The summary must be that The Merciless works fine, but in small doses.
also review of: Aura Noire