Son Of Aurelius - The Farthest Reaches
Good Fight Music
Technical Death Metal
11 songs (36:28)
Release year: 2010
Good Fight Music
Reviewed by Goat

Boasting a live Decrepit Birth guitarist in their midst, Son Of Aurelius take their Greek-obsessed Death Metal and attempt great things, some of which are, impressively, achieved. At once technical and melodic, catchy and furious, the band sound like a genuinely underground Protest The Hero sans silly vocals, and seem reluctant to slow the pace. Many would reject this automatically as guitar wankery, and whilst that’s true to a certain extent, the likes of the title track are a good argument against that, being Death Metal to the core even slathered as liberally as they are with melody. I listened hard, but I could hear little metalcore influence, if any – this is first and foremost very melodic Death Metal, and works all the better for it.

The Farthest Reaches’ strongest point is undoubtedly the guitarwork of Cary and Chase, but the weak point is the sheer overload and lack of dynamics. It’s all too easy to be overwhelmed by the wave upon wave of guitar wizardry, and for songs to blend into one long bit of widdling. Tech-Death often suffers from this, but the best bands overcome it by writing great songs that make the best usage of their skills. Fair enough, Son Of Aurelius are on their debut full-length, but that doesn’t mean that the more thoughtful likes of Pandora’s Burden aren’t the exception rather than the rule, and as good as the raging Myocardial Infarction is, it’s a bit of a standout simply because it doesn’t devote itself slavishly to melody, but instead jerks about like Cryptopsy having an epileptic fit.

Alas, a few more epileptic fits would have made The Farthest Reaches quite the album to contend with. Instead, as good as the likes of Mercy For Today are, it lacks that special something overall. Let Them Hate And Fear ups and downs the pace at breakneck speeds, Olympus Is Forgotten has a nice bit of atmospheric synthwork before turning nasty, and the aforementioned Pandora’s Burden gets a bit of groove going – none of them are really what you’d call killer songs, however good the musicianship is. Although drummer Spencer Edwards undoubtedly brings the noise, it’d be nice to hear him playing something really out-there, as opposed to merely above-average. Ultimately, The Farthest Reaches confirms Son Of Aurelius’ skills in everything but songwriting, and whilst I can’t recommend this as anything much more than a decent listen, I’m sure their second album will be a step forwards.

Killing Songs :
Mercy For Today, The Farthest Reaches, Myocardial Infarction
Goat quoted 74 / 100
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