Aura Noir

Out to Die

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The piercing whine of feedback not only introduces but serves as connecting thread throughout Aura Noir's fifth studio album, 2012's Out to Die, which suggests this minor-league Norwegian supergroup would probably be almost as content playing Sodom and Destruction covers as crafting their own blackened thrash material. To wit, all-out burners such as "Trenches," "Withheld," and "Deathwish" obviously take these wizened old black metal veterans (with ties to major bands like Mayhem, Ulver, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Dimmu Borgir, and others) back to the more innocent, denim and leather, bullet belt and spiked armlet fantasies of their salad days...years before all that murdering and church-burning ugliness ruined the fun for everyone. Taking the band's inspirational connections a few steps further, the lead-in to "Priest's Hellish Fiend" appears to be quoting Metallica's "Hit the Lights," the atypically mid-paced "The Grin from the Gallows" lovingly revisits the Venom songbook, and a few telltale guitar licks sneaked into "Fed to the Flames" dig all the way back to late '70s Motörhead. All of which proves that not even these notorious agents of Satan's wrath were really spawned in the coldest recesses of Hell...just its neighboring suburbs of, you know, Scandinavia. As such, is it any wonder that the men behind Aura Noir love nothing more than reliving those inglorious years through steaming hot platters like Out to Die? Even better, by partnering with a higher-profile record label in Norway's own Indie Recordings, the band is finally poised to satisfy the increasing demand from an ever more nostalgic fan contingent, tucked away in every corner of the globe.

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