Aura Noir - _Black Thrash Attack_
(Malicious Records, 1997)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Ah, yes... another cigs, suds 'n' Satan eighties metal fest. This two-man band's debut MCD, _Dreams Like Deserts_, was greatly enjoyed around here, thanks to its faithful yet updated take on the old school. MCD tracks like "Forlorn Blessings to the Dreamking" and the excellent "Mirage" add to a solid old school basis with really catchy vocal phrasings, sharper riffs, and quicker tempos - like Deathwitch, but lots better (I rate _DLD_ an 8 out of 10). On this full-length CD, by contrast, formula tends to triumph over creativity. Its "Destructor" this, "Conqueror" that, and "Blasphemer" the other - minus the nineties edge of the MCD material, and minus the superior sonic dynamics of eighties greats like Kreator and Sodom. Of course, Aura Noir do a great job of sounding like Kreator and Sodom whilst blatantly copying Kreator and Sodom riffs, as they do on a couple of tracks. They copy some Slayer riffs, too, and the album contains other recognizable knock-offs whose band of origin I haven't bothered to figure out. Still, these guys occasionally get the crusty old vibe just right. And when they do, they sound pretty damn cool to this living relic, especially on "Wretched Face of Evil" and "The Pest" ("You shall stand petrified by the fierce pest," we are warned). Great, bottom-heavy production helps, and there are some cool riffs, here too - alongside a few pretty limp ones, it must be said. Nevertheless, as eighties retreads go, Aura Noir are easily the best of the bunch. _Black Thrash Attack_ is not bad, but their first release showed that they can do better.
(article published 6/7/1997)
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