Ok, I’ll admit, when it comes to Black Metal knowledge, Mark would be the walking BM encyclopaedia... and Mac is always a reliable source for great BM reviews as well. As for myself, I’m a little bit of a Black Metal Noob... well compared to them. However we all were at some point and hopefully some of you can benefit from my fresh p.o.v.
Now, even though Aura Noir cut their Black Thrash Debut “Dreams Like Deserts” way back in 1994, I had never heard of them up until receiving this promo full length version of “The Merciless” in my mailbox today. What really caught my attention, is that this release happens to be on Tyrant Syndicate Productions, the label founded by DARKTHRONE themselves in attempts to bring some of their favourite and lesser known bands out of the darkness of the underground and into our awaiting ears and for this I thank them, as I am already foaming at the mouth to check out the rest of the AURA NOIR catalogue.
Right off the bat I am greeted with the warm, fuzzy and oh so familiar sounding track, “Upon The Dark Throne”, who’d a guessed it? Very DARKTHRONE, as expected... But then, what’s this? Track two kicks on and BANG! I’m glued, just straight up, pure metal lovers bliss with everything in there: old school SLAYER, VENOM, MOTÖRHEAD, DARKTHRONE, BATHORY, even a little SABBATHesque at times... Basically to call this album a “Headbanger” would be like calling Castro a Commie! And the timing couldn’t have been much better, as I was just bitching about how there hasn’t really been anything coming out lately that one could call “Truly” influential. And even though these guys are playing in the vein of old school 80’s Thrash, they pull it off in a fresh and very convincing way.
Bottom line, let’s just put it this way... within an hour of owning this album I’ve already listened to it twice... and I’m taking it to my truck right now. That ought to be enough to convince you. Anyone looking to check out one Hell of a Blackened Thrash rocker and kick it ol’ school style, pick this up... guaranteed not to disappoint.\m/. (Online January 5, 2005)