Sunday, December 9, 2012

Augury

Augury - Concealed
Galy Records, 2004
Genre: Technical Death Metal

1. Beatus
2. ...Ever Know Peace Again
3. Cosmic Migration
4. Nocebo
5. Alien Shores
6. In Russian Dolls Universes
7. Becoming God
8. The Lair of Purity
9. From Eden Estranged
10. ...As Sea Devours Land






This is an album I borrowed from a friend of mine.  I thought I would give it a review since I had some fairly strong opinions on it.  Technical Death Metal isn't usually a style I immediately go after, but if you throw in enough catchy rhythms I can usually stay interested... with the exception of Cryptopsy, I love those guys.

Augury plays a fairly interesting style of Death Metal, albeit somewhat generic by today's standards.  However, what they do play they do quite well.  They try to compose songs that are well layered and stay away from letting the listener get bored with their compositions.  The musicianship behind this album is very impressive and if that's the sort of thing that gets you going, this band will probably catch your ear.  The arrangements are definitely paying homage to some of the old school Tech Death bands like Cynic or Atheist, but the sound here is entirely modernized and far heavier.

The one killer for me was the vocal performance.  Now I don't have anything against female vocals being added, but I have something against these female vocals.  The music is heavy and brutal.  The male vocals are incredibly guttural and brutal.  So what female range do they choose?  Soprano!  Seriously, a high range like that does not work with Death Metal that sounds like this.  They would have been better served finding a vocalist with a range like Nera (Darzamat, NeraNature).  A girl who can pull off a lower range like her may have worked better.  In songs like "Beatus" the girl sings verses with the male vocalist and it just doesn't work well together.  I've heard situations where it wasn't bad, as in Theatre of Tragedy, but they weren't blasting their way through a Death Metal album.  Now there are sections of this album that are much lighter, but are there any female vocals there?  Nope.  I just find some of the arrangement choices odd and these arrangements made songs like "Beatus" tough to listen to.

Towards the end the album seems to fizzle out a little.  The last three tracks are very light by comparison, and while they are not bad, they do feel more like an afterthought.  As in, "hey, we had these extra songs lying around... let's put them at the end!"  In the end, this was a pretty decent album.  I just hope their future efforts turn out a little better in the arrangement department.  So I will end with a link to one of my favorite songs on the album:


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