I must admit that I get extremely wary any time anyone applies the term ‘Lovecraftian’ to anything. Any artist, be they an author or a filmmaker, who has claimed to try and follow in the footsteps of the master of weird fiction has, by and large, failed to even pay the faintest of homages to his true genius and has quickly fallen by the wayside as a pale imitation of the US writer’s true literary genius (and this from someone who doesn’t read more than the most miniscule of fiction, finding the real world fucked up enough without people having to make up more shit about it…).
Fortunately, while drawing their inspiration from Howard Phillips’ fantastical creations, Vancouver death metal trio Auroch have used this influence to create a damn fine album and one of the best genre debuts it has been my pleasure to have heard in quite some.
Right from the beginning of the title track (streaming below), the three piece display a remarkably mature songwriting ability together with a highly technical musical ability, the song twisting and turning upon a pivotal archetypal DM riff, complemented by a stunning drumming performance from Zach Chandler, but at the same time demonstrating the sort of measured combination/contrast that so many death bands seem incapable of producing: by easing off on the pedal now and again, at just the right moments, the overall effect of the song, and its impact, are heightened.
That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of sheer, unwarranted aural brutality: far from it, and they are here aplenty, from the epic, sweeping first single, ‘Slaves To A Flame Undying’ (also streaming below) to the annihilsitic ‘Dregs Of Sanity’, by the end of which you are truly questioning whether you have any left…
It’s an album from which it is hard to pick highlights, as its consistency is truly remarkable for a debut album: personal favourites however would have to include the aforementioned ‘Slaves…’ and the Mayhem-ic ‘Talisman For Total Temporal Collapse’, while ‘Bloodborne Conspiracy’ is perhaps one of the darkest and most twisted tracks, both within the context of the album and the wider DM genre at the moment, coming complete with its tortuous screamed sub-vocal.
Old HP probably would approve…
A well-deserved and worthy 9.5/10
- From Forgotten Worlds
- Fleshless Ascension (Paths Of Dawn)
- Slaves To A Flame Undying
- Dregs Of Sanity
- Talisman For Total Temporal Collapse
- Terra Akeldama
- Bloodborne Conspiracy
- Tundra Moon
‘From Forgotten Worlds’ is released on Hellthrasher Records on October 26th.
Auroch play the Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, on October 26th (with support from Tyrants Blood, rchspire and Galgamex) and Logan’s Pub in Victoria on November 10th (with Dore Omen, Burialkult and Acolytes ov Impurity).
For more info on the band, go ‘like’ them at
Band photo by Max Montesi.