Auberon - Crossworld
Black Mark
Death Metal
9 songs (31'34")
Release year: 2001
Black Mark
Reviewed by Alex

I really liked Auberon’s debut Tale of the Black . This Swedish band came out of nowhere and impressed the hell out of me with its non-traditional mix of brutal and melodic death metal. While other bands butcher perfectly nice death metal records with clean vocalization, Auberon’s lead singer really COULD SING cleanly. Even though this approach was used sparingly (on the most catchy choruses in the album I might add), such clean singing provided a nice contrast to an otherwise pretty aggressive album. His powerful and emotional voice carried nicely over a signature Swedish melodic death riffs. This combination provided for an almost epic and somewhat progressive feel while separating the band from the pack. Here and there the guys would slip in a power chord or two, but, hey, they thanked Kai Hansen for the band existence in the liner notes.

So, when I heard that their follow-up will be heavier, faster, rawer, catchier and tighter, I was, naturally, interested. Crossworld proved to be all that in just over 30 min of music except it is definitely not catchy … and I felt that Auberon lost their unique edge. With Crossworld just about all epic and progressive influences are forcefully purged. A few keyboard touches here and there, which are very much in a background anyway, don’t help. The whole album has a thrashy feel to it. May be that’s what they sought – to shun melody and gain some brutality. Yeah, but this made them sound like a dozen of other bands out there. My closest reference would be an early Darkane . Auberon , no doubt, sounds Confident, but somehow not very Special. It felt like the guys either rushed too much or ran out of ideas which also may explain a very short album.

Chaotic leads generally serve as an introduction to a pretty simple riffing. Drumming is fast, but nowhere near the hyperblasting of the brutal death bands. Vocals are quite repetitive and screamy, almost hysterical in places. On A Bleeding Work of Art a lower tone vocals are added, but they seem to be lagging behind the tempo of the music. I don’t have to do a separate track by track analysis as the above description covers a good deal of them. On three closing tracks I completely lost interest.

Two bright spots are The Beast Within and Gaia . The Beast Within has that debut album feel with its interesting song structure and clean vocals in spots. Gaia , being much lighter in the riffing department, has an extremely catchy chorus and the whole enlightening aura about it.

If what they say about the third album – a defining moment in the band’s career – is true, I will be waiting as to which direction Auberon chooses. Will it be a once-listen-and-forget or replay-many-times type record?

Killing Songs :
The Beast Within, Gaia
Alex quoted 60 / 100
Crims quoted 85 / 100
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