Album Review: Auroch – “From Forgotten Worlds” (Reissue)

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Vancouver’s Auroch (members of Mitochondrion) are finally getting a vinyl release for their 2012 blackened death metal full-length debut From Forgotten Worlds. Originally released with some moderate buzz, From Forgotten Worlds was the first full-length following a number of demos, splits, and EPs that were released between 2008 and 2010. The album has been remixed for a vinyl with a cleaner and more polished sound than the original release.

With the growing resurgence of vinyl records over the last five years, more and more bands are choosing to release their albums on this “dead” medium. CD sales continue their rapid decline and digital sales are not the music industry savior that bands and labels had hoped. This increase in demand for vinyl pressing has put a strain on pressing plants who are seeing themselves drown in the unexpected and drastic need for records. This has caused extensive delays for many releases (see the vinyl release of Deafheaven’s New Bermuda, for example). That being said, I ave yet to see a pressing plant delay a record release for four years.

If Auroch first made its way into your musical spectrum with their most recent full-length Taman Shud, then From Forgotten Worlds may seem like a different band. 2014’s Taman Shud leaned slightly more towards the darker atmosphere of the absolute horror that is Mitochondrion, which shares members with Auroch. From any of their releases, it is easy to hear that Auroch have staunchly set themselves apart from Mitochondrion. Whereas Mitochondion shares more in common with Portal of Blut aus Nord, Auroch seem content to follow the more straightforward or “classic” path od death metal in the evil strain of Cryptopsy or Deicide. From Forgotten Worlds is thrashier and faster than the 2014 release, with a more technical approach featuring some impressive guitar licks that shred your ears like a rapid-fire nailgun. The vocals overtake the music and often are far more furious and intense than the rest of the song. This is even more evident on the dual vocal parts that sound like a duet from an enraged witch and a grizzly bear roaring from the darkness. For those that have heard the original release of the album, they may not have realized the full depth and atmosphere of From Forgotten Worlds that was overpowered by the pure, raw fury of the original mix of the album. While this does make it easier to hear more of the complexity of the record, I feel that it sacrifices some of the intensity and black metal fury of the album.

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Auroch – From Forgotten Worlds, 2012

The mix of the album is not the only difference between the 2012 version of this album the new version. The record release also features new art and design for the album. The original artwork by Canadian artist Danille Gauvin (Adversarial, Tyranny) was really sweet but the band or label must have decided that if they were releasing an old album for a second time, that they would not only give fans a new mix, but new artwork as well. The vinyl packaging is fantastic, featuring new artwork by Cold Poison (Nightbringer, Dodsengel). This could be a cool item for fans and vinyl collectors alike.

If you are a fan of Auroch, by all means scoop the newly mixed record up and discover depths in its darkness that you may have missed previously. If you know Auroch from Taman Shud, do not look for the same darkness or dread on From Forgotten Worlds, especially with the cleaner, re-released mix. If you have never heard of Auroch and choose to listen to this release first, just know that it is an older album that covers all-too familiar ground and has been surpassed not only by the genre, but also by the band itself.

– Josh Thieler


As of March 11th, 2016, From Forgotten Worlds has been re-released digitally and on vinyl. It is available through 20 Buck Spin. For more information of Auroch, visit the band’s official Facebook page.


 

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