Auroch – From Forgotten Worlds (Self-Released)

Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

It’s comforting to know the death metal vocabulary and/or subject matter template continues to expand. Death metal bands with little or no imagination use the horror/gore topical matter as a fall back, and frankly, it makes one wonder why they even bother. You can’t understand a lick of what they’re saying, and any attempt at being gory for the sake of shock value has lost its edge. Everywhere a death metal band turns, a dead creative end presents itself, which could explain why Vancouver’s Auroch has decided to focus on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft as its lyrical ethos.

Relatively fresh-faced after forming in 2008, this power trio plays death metal of the old-school, early 90’s variety. They certainly get plenty of mileage out of the Cannibal Corpse/Deicide riff template, going as far as to practically recreate the vaunted Morrisound Studio sound as well, thus enabling their From Forgotten Worlds debut to be a step up from its fellow unsigned death metal conspirators.

Technicality is in full force as guitarist Paul Ouzounov (awesome last name) breaks out with some fretboard gymnastics on the opening title track and album standout “Talisman for the Temporal Collapse.” Small traces of melody make their way into “Bloodbourne Conspiracy,” making one wish they’d rely on this a little more to create distinction between the eight cuts, for From Forgotten Worlds occasionally gets lost in the everglade death metal muck and ruck.

Very few death metal bands are a finished product on their respective debuts, meaning that Auroch is just in the development stages. Yet with From Forgotten Worlds, the band’s fresh take on HP Lovecraft (not like you can make out what is being sung) and stranglehold on Floridian are what should be proper selling points for a prospective label.

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