After already encountering several great releases this year that embrace the dark, evil and incredibly intense feel that Aura Noir is known for conjuring, the amount of anticipation that I had for this record didn't exactly dwindle, but it could afford to be subpar simply because there was already a slew of fantastic records out that could fill your void for some black-thrashing madness. Well, Aura Noir still delivered a quality album that any fan of the band could and should enjoy because there's no real reason why they could criticize "Out to Die," other than it isn't as amazing as "Black Thrash Attack," which is to be expected, honestly.
The band wastes no time getting into what they're great at with the opening track "Trenches" which rips through with a speedy riff laced with some nice tremolo riffage. While this song is a fun one and certainly is capable of getting the listener's headbanging, there's just something missing that keeps it from reaching the brilliant status of songs like "Son of Hades" or "Black Thrash Attack," which sadly seems to be the story throughout this album. "Abbadon" and the title track follow a similar pattern as "Trenches" with the evil riffing spawned from the band's black metal influence and the overall fast thrashing assault. The track "The Grin From the Gallows" is a definite highlight on "Out to Die" with its unashamed Black Sabbath influence. The slow and plodding pace throughout mixed with some top-notch soloing and Aggressor's fantastic vocals make for a great song and I wouldn't mind at all seeing these guys write more material like this.
Along with the faster songs there is of course some songs that are metalpunk through and through which makes for some nice variety on this eight-track mosher. The song "Deathwish" kicks off with a D-beat that immediately gets the listener to move their head and the rest of the music follows suit, not ever giving the listener a chance to catch their breath and the same could be said of the tracks "Withheld" and "Fed to the Flames." "Out to Die" is clearly Aura Noir's best offering since "The Merciless," and while not quite as stellar this record is no slouch and it contains a real sense of genuinity giving it a great chance to grow on the listener more and more as the year goes on and Aura Noir binds the listener under their black magic.
Be sure to check out and like Aura Noir on Facebook!
"The Grin From the Gallows"
"Out to Die"
4.3/5 or 86%.