Aura Noir - Hades Rise
Peaceville Records
Black/Thrash Metal
10 songs (38:21)
Release year: 2008
Aura Noir, Peaceville Records
Reviewed by Goat

Well, here’s an album I wasn’t expecting to see! Everyone remembers back in 2005 when Carl-Michael Eide had his terrible fall, the details of which are still far from clear, and then it seemed only too plausible that his respectable musical career would be over. Skip forward three years however, and here we have it, the new, fourth album from Aura Noir! Unsurprisingly, this is hardly a big departure for the band, Darkthroney riffs twisted into old-school Thrash forms for the most part, yet throughout Hades Rise it’s noticeable that this is far from a sloppy barrel of laughs. For a start, everything seems slightly more mid-paced than before, even veritable crushers like Unleash The Demons. Also, the choice of riffs is unusual. There’s an air of twisted progressiveness around cuts like the title track that makes them more than just Black Thrash; dare I say that at times I hear Gojira in this band as much as Gorgoroth?

That’s not to say that the band has gone all weird on us, far from it. The likes of Gaping Grave Awaits were designed for headbanging above all, and the production is notably harsh. Both Eide (Aggressor) and compatriot Apollyon (better known as Ole Jørgen Moe of Dødheimsgard, Immortal etc) are playing for their lives, riffing and beating in a deranged symphony that’s as in tune as any other Blackened two-piece you care to name, Satyr and Frost, Fenriz and Nocturno, whoever. A guest spot from Mayhem’s Blasphemer (no longer in the band, alas) provides some kickass leads, too.

At times things can seem slightly repetitive – Pestilent Streams and Iron Night/Torment Storm could have used a few extra riffs, as kickass as these songs are – but this is as much style as substance, after all, and along with the subtle slowing of pace seems to have come an enhancement of the band’s ‘evil rock’ elements. Bands of this ilk generally tend to favour the Black over the Thrash, or vice-versa, and yet Aura Noir have the balance down perfectly. You can name the usual names, Motorhead, Sodom, etc and this band stands definitely, deliberately apart, although the influences are clear. No, there are no real surprises, no Progtastic flourishes on show; this is first and foremost a burst of evil Blackened Thrash that’s perfect for getting frantically drunk to, exactly the sort of album that you would record if you’d just been in a coma for a month.

Ultimately, there are those that deserve to Thrash out, and those that don’t. Next time you see someone listening to Trivium, beat them around the ears with a copy of this; the perfect contrast to the unworthy modern, spoilt, mosh-happy retro-mongers that get pushed into our ears, the next bandwagon forming as you watch. Instead, go for the voice of human experience; few bands could perform the nearly six-minute long Shadows Of Death and get close to a tenth of the atmospheric punch that Aura Noir pull off, whilst making you headbang all the time. It may not be revolutionary, but Hades Rise is a statement of intent from the abyss that’ll last long on any necrothrasher’s playlist.

Killing Songs :
Hades Rise, Gaping Grave Awaits, Unleash The Demons, Death Mask, Shadows Of Death, South American Death
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Aura Noir that we have reviewed:
Aura Noir - Aura Noire reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Aura Noir - Black Thrash Attack reviewed by Tony and quoted 87 / 100
Aura Noir - Out To Die reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Aura Noir - The Merciless reviewed by Daniel and quoted 81 / 100
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