With technical death metal on a rapid decline, I figured now would be a good time to start sifting through recent tech death releases. It’s understandable that a subgenre which focuses on technical proficiency and blazing speeds would face an inevitable demise in favour of metal with more groove, or at least more of an atmosphere… but anyway, as I was saying, I was looking for (and somewhat craving) a technical death metal album to listen to from the year 2011. I came across ‘The Aura’ and decided that it’d be able to whet my appetite.
… And verily, my hunger was satiated. Beyond Creation play a brand of technical death metal that can probably be viewed as derivative of other bands of the genre, though it isn’t exactly easy to be an original sounding technical death metal band. Regardless of this, I found that the album stayed true to the genre and each musician of the album releases every ounce of musical potential within themselves, letting years of instrumental mastery shine throughout the album. Every guitar lead, solo, riff, bassline and drum pattern exudes virtuosity and an understanding of music creation that ordinary men are unable to comprehend. The band is part of the Montreal metal scene, a scene which has seen the rise of plenty of awesome acts in the past decade. This album represents the scene well, expressing a sound of raw, visceral anger, never letting up for a single second.
It’s not everyday you hear a bassist stand out in a metal band, but Dominic “Forest” Lapointe adds a heavily Steve DiGiorgio inspired flavour of fretless finger shredding to the album. Throughout the album you can hear his colourful basslines in the background, often battling guitars, forever wailing to the listener. Vocalist/Guitarist, Simon Girard penetrates the instrumentation with a strong, mid-to-low pitch growl while simultaneously (and impressively) laying down solid guitar work. Really, I feel like I’m incapable of praising the instrumentalists enough at this point, so I’ll cease to continue with doing so.
This album has brought out the nostalgia in me and it makes me reflect on the time I was a musician in a death metal band, eager to discuss my favourite bands with other musicians who were also as enthusiastic as I was (perhaps even more so) about the genre. Of course, the band dissolved, and never went any further than the whole “jam and compose” stage, but it’s given me fond memories – memories which ‘The Aura’ has helped me to recall. Perhaps if I listen to this as a responsible, milk drinking guy in his mid 30s, I’ll be able to reflect on those days in the same way.
… And with that depressing sentimentality out of the way, allow me to conclude by recommending this album to all. If you fancy yourself as a fan of music that’s so fast that it’d make the metabolism of a fit man blush, you’re sure to like the album.