Shortly after having received and listened to ORLOG’s “Elysion” I was delivered another portion of German Black Metal, this time prepared by some debutants called AUGRIMMER. As “Elysion” offered a sound experience of very good quality, my expectations for the latter band’s mini-CD were high.
The EP features four tracks, of which the opening one is an average intro offering nothing more but a kind of incantation from the vocalist backed up by a timid instrumental accompaniment. Proceeding further and analysing each of the three regular songs one will notice that the difference between them is rather slight, though, this isn’t any serious disadvantage as the music here is rarely boring. Built on solid distorted guitar foundations of fairly dull sound and strengthened by audible bass, the compositions try to gain favour with the listener mostly by their melodic nature, which emerges with full force in the fragments where an extra guitar paints some sorrowful sceneries suiting perfectly the album title (check out “Autumnal Heavens”, the second effort on the list). The Germans’ music never gets extraordinarily fast or brutal and the aim the guys have set up before starting working on the EP was surely to create an album filled with somewhat restless, yet simultaneously melancholic atmosphere. It can be heard in as good as any fragment of the disc, not only in the soloing in the above-mentioned title track. “Spectres Of Mortality” for instance includes some tranquil strumming reminding a bit of AGALLOCH somewhere in its mid-paced structure of dirty guitars and – at times –intensive drumming. As for the tempo on the whole release, it does not change radically during the nearly eighteen minutes of AUGRIMMER’s work and initially you can get a feeling that there is some monotony present in the compositions. Not altering their pace too much results however in a consistent piece of music and helps keeping the same dismal feeling all the time.
Apart from certain melodies and the mood they fashion, the bass performance is what attracts my attention the most. Throughout the whole EP the bass guitar makes nicely its presence felt by some sort of steadiness and depth, especially in the moments of slower tempo (again – see the title track). Also the more rapid, intense parts by the rhythm section may appeal to the listener, though these are not numerous. Just like in the case of the other instruments you do not have to exert yourself in order to hear it, which is a plus as you really do not always get this kind of quality with CDs from Black acts beginning their music career.
The content of “Autumnal Heavens” indicates that the group may offer the Metal fans a pretty remarkable full-length effort somewhere in the – possibly – near future. It will be quite interesting to see how much these guys can achieve with a regular album. Up till now I do not see any serious reasons to complain about the stuff they make.
(Online March 16, 2009)