Despite constant refinement in the fields of manual dexterity and vocal extremity, most extreme metal bands hold little interest for me.
If I just wanted excessive fret-wankery, I’d listen to Joe Satriani, and if I wanted to see terrifying pig grunts, I’d watch that scene in Hannibal where Gary Oldman gets gored to death. Give me a band who has stepped outside of their own genre for inspiration, even if it is only for a brisk stroll.
Initially, Augury seems to have little to offer, except the possibility of a guided tour around their local Guitar Centre. A thunderclap opening leads into a lot of double bass drumming and some lightning fast riffs and death grunts, but just after the minute mark, there’s a quick break, and the speed-jazz bass shines through. After that, the guitars begin to soar into Opeth-like prog workouts, adding a bit of respite before everything becomes distorted and double-speed once more.
Most of the remaining tunes follow the same formula, interspersing their death or black or just plain extreme metal maelstrom with lighter prog jams and occasional forays into other genres- the Sikth-like tech-metal intro to ‘Simian Cattle’, or the moment in ‘Orphans Of Living’ when it melts into half-speed lounge jazz. While it doesn’t exactly become predictable (the female vocals on ‘Brimstone landscapes’ totally threw me), it does get a bit ‘inevitable’ towards the end, as you keep waiting for the next musical shift.
It’s obvious these guys are accomplished musicians, but they don’t half want to let you know it. Both ‘Jupiter To Ignite’ and ‘Oversee The Rebirth’ seem to be exercises in stringing together as many separate movements as possible, clocking in at 8:24 and 11:12 respectively. If you’ll allow me to quote my notes for ‘Jupiter...’, all I managed to put down was- “acoustic intro, obvious lead into thrashy bit, black metal (croaky Cradle vocals), prog, thrash, acoustic, false outro, solo, prog, jam, thrash, solo, jam, MY GOD THIS SONG WON’T END!”