Augury – Fragmentary Evidence (Nuclear Blast Records)

Saturday, 16th March 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Quo Vadis, where art thou? Technical Canadian death metal is not the same without you and if one thinks for a second the likes of Despised Icon and Beneath the Massacre are capable of filling that void, then lay off the sauce, bro. Next up we have Augury (who landed on Nuclear Blast via a contest), who does the Canuck tech-blitzkrieg with plenty of aplomb and gusto, but it’s blurry and unmemorable, killed by too many anti-melodies and tech-y do-littles.

Bassist Dominic LaPointe owns this record, recalling the finer moments of Steve Digiorio (Death, Sadus) and Tony Choy (Atheist). His bass is out front and in charge during “Simian Cattle” and “Jupiter To Ignite,” railing against the smoldering six-string pryo that is all over this thing.

There’s no questioning the musical dexterity of Augury, as jams like album opener “Aetherial,” “Orphans of Living,” and “Skyless” all test the limits of technical death metal, oftentimes nipping at the heels of the likes of The Faceless and Obscura, but with less concrete results. Then there’s vocalist Patrick Loisel, who does his best David Draiman (Disturbed) impersonation on “Brimstone Landscapes” and it’s sorta baffling, as his atypical sub-gurgles comprise most of the album.

There’s no magic formula to executing technical death metal in the proper fashion. Augury, while not the excellence of execution (nice Bret Hart jab), are certainly up there in terms of prowess, something we’ll continue to hit upon in spite of the veritable un-latchable nature of Fragmentary Evidence.

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