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Aurora Borealis - Relinquish (8,5/10) - USA - 2006

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Nightsky Productions
Playing time: 36:32
Band homepage: Aurora Borealis


  1. Myths Of The Light
  2. Let The Games Begin
  3. Ravaged By Fire
  4. God Wills It
  5. The Red Flag
  6. River Through The Skies
  7. Tonight We Feast
  8. Black Snow
Aurora Borealis - Relinquish

Pummeling, like genitalia wrought in a vice grip while you’re innocently swooned with gentle yet cold melodies rising above the din of your own screaming and bloody discharge. Not up for it? Better turn back now because Maryland’s AURORA BOREALIS will grab you by the scrotum and beat the hell out of you with low-end and sharp riffing if given the most subtle of glances. What’s even more charming is the fact that this duo has not solidified itself completely within the status quo of Black Metal, opting for a varied assault which melds the staple melodies with infrequent Thrashy breaks and the occasional Death Metal rhythm element which comes together to form this amalgam of brutal ecstasy.


As soon as you throw this CD in and hit play, your world comes crashing down. “Myths Of The Light” kicks down the door with unrelenting double-bass and blast-beats which combine with Ron Vento’s heavy riffing and supplanted melodies to get your neck snapping and synapses cluster-fucking. The chorus is pure bliss with that excellent riff and overtly malicious rasp of main-man Vento. Just when you think you have this project pegged they hit you with that CORONER styled riff at 1:35 akin to leaping off the diving board and expecting water, yet colliding with the open face of a bear trap. Peel your goddamn flesh from the iron as this is only the beginning.


Uniqueness is accomplished quite readily through variety coupled with retro sensibility and excellent musicianship. The band is technically proficient while able to hit you with more goddamn riffs than you could fill a grave with. Curve-balls are brought out unrestrained as we get weird gang-arena chanting of “HEY! HEY! HEY!” in “Let The Games Begin” but it fucking works and the track is goddamn brutal. This composition also highlights the band’s penchant for tempo changes which threaten to break Tony Laureno’s wrists. One minute you’ll be getting steam-rolled by a Doom passage and then you’ll be hit with this massive Thrash break which is not a far shot from early KREATOR. In this sense the band could be most likened to a slightly more technical SUMMON, boasting that similar Black Metal vocal/melody assault in conjunction with old-school Thrash which produces an end result that is ten times more potent than Viagra.


Tony Laureno’s low-end is goddamn terrifying. Those bass drums are in your goddamn face like a deranged dentist hacking away at your gums with a chunk of broken glass. They are mixed rather high and are so overt and offensive that I cannot quite understand how they manage to avoid strangling the riffage. The wide yet distorted production affords maximum breadth while maintaining this distinct sound which is so goddamn rare. Thankfully Laureno is on par with Vento’s musicality and offers the dual-benefit of allowing the listener to focus on the battery and never see a dull moment. The riffs and manic soloing is the cake, but Laureno is the icing which adds that necessary touch of perfection and satisfaction.


“Relinquish” is mandatory, simply because it offers a unique blend of Metal sub-genre which kicks your ass for 36 minutes straight, leaving you bloody, battered and sore. This is that exact point where the 3 main genres of extreme Metal meet, coalescing in a spark of goddamn genius. You may wish to stretch your neck before delving into this monstrosity. (Online July 11, 2006)

Charles Theel

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