Augury
Fragmentary Evidence

I knew little about Canada’s Augury prior to hearing this album but was aware that their Galy Records debut caused quite a stir in the tech death metal world. My interest was however truly piqued when I discovered that vocalist/guitarist Patrick Loisel was in Canadian act Kralizec who were responsible for one of my very early, most underrated and ambitious death metal albums, 2003s Origin, and I was glad to hear Augury has alot of the sounds that made Origin so good.

If you have enjoyed tech death metal releases this year from Obscura, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Gorod, Fragmentary Evidence should be a no-brainer as it combines all the elements of those albums into one epic, technical maelstrom… and some; Jazzy, twangy bass lines, convoluted yet catchy riffage, a cosmic, ethereal polish, a taught brutality and a sense of progressive, classical flare comes together to form an album, that challenges and elevates tech death metal to new levels; Levels that had already been shattered by 2009s ridiculously good crop of tech death.

With a virtual super team of producers, mixers and engineers (Hugues Deslauriers, Yannick St-Amand, Jean-Francois Dagenais and James Murphy), Fragmentary Evidence sounds robust yet crystal clear, which is perfect as all the elements that come together can be heard in perfect, razor sharp unison. I can’t compare to 2004’s Concealed, but on this album, the collision of blistering Canadian complexity (Gorguts, Neuraxis, Atheretic, etc) is glossed with injections of adventurous experimentation: clean, operatic vocals, spacey acoustic refrains, crystalline solos and bass solos all combine with the blazing death metal vortex to produce something that almost seems alien to these human ears. It’s like an alien race playing death metal with a technology and skill far more advanced than ours. However, as with say the new Gorod, the line between skill and pretension is blurred and great patience I required, but Fragmentary Evidence always falls on the side of mind numbing brilliance.

The standout tracks are the ones that combine everything mentioned effortlessly in to truly epic moments of tech death mastery: “Simian Cattle”, “Orphans of Living”, personal favorites “Sovereigns Unknown” and “Brimstone Landscapes” (with a vocal segue than has to be heard to be believed), eight minute “Jupiter to Ignite” and slightly indulgent, eleven minute closer “Oversee the Rebirth” are quite simply breathtaking in their precise savagery and progressive yet calculated injections. Even ‘straightforward’ tracks like opener “Aetheral” or “Faith Puppeteers” are utterly mind blowing.  “Skyless” slows things down a bit, bit still does it with dizzying intricacy. A number of guest vocalists assist Loisel with his impressive growls and roars ranging from Aborted’s Sven De Caluwé to Unexpect’s Syriak and Leilindel (“Brimstone Landscapes”), only adding to the kaleidoscope of magnificence that exudes from every note on the album.

Tech death in 2009 is literally blowing my balls off and its still only August, but I’m pretty confident nothing will touch this for the rest of the year, but I said that about Cosmogenesis back in march so who knows. Either way, top 10, if not top 5 or 3 for 2009 for sure.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 18th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: ceno

    “It’s like an alien race playing death metal with a technology and skill far more advanced than ours”

    Damn nice line right there, Erik. I heard Augury’s last album and liked it quite a bit but this one is still waiting its turn. Seems like it should jump the “queue” of albums on my check-out list.


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    fuck me there are so many good albums this year to buy. and wtf is it with the French this year? they are dominating!!!


  3. Commented by: Shane

    The vocals are too much. Why do they have to sound like they are swallowing the mic?


  4. Commented by: JW

    If it’s literally blowing balls off, I think I’ll pass. I’m quite attached to mine.


  5. Commented by: xbenx

    Ordered this yesterday, cannot wait!!!


  6. Commented by: Storm King

    Good lord, what a quantum leap up in quality for these guys (which is saying a lot because I liked their last one a lot). I’m not certain yet if it’s better than Cosmogenesis, but just on first listen it’s the only thing I’ve heard thus far this year that’s going to be able to equal it. Fantastic CD.


  7. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    So who is going to order a pair of Augury panties?

    http://www.ifmerch.com/en/catalogs/augury


  8. Commented by: gabaghoul

    wow this is VERY different than Concealed. just listened to it again today – much more chaotic and manic than this, sometimes a bit too much. overall this does feel more structured though. love the slower Cynic sections too.


  9. Commented by: ceno

    This album is just cut up for my taste. I’m absolutely stunned. What an incredible equilibrium between the chaos and aggression on the one hand and the lucidity and mildness on the other. The bass work is especially good. Yet, despite all the complexity found here I find this album pretty easy to listen to. No doubt, it’s a very ctrong contender for the top 5 of the year.


  10. Commented by: Desperado

    Great album and good review Erik.I have a question though about Kralizec and what to expect from them.I enjoy Augury though other bands come first.Is it a progression like Apalling Spawn to Lykathea Aflame?


  11. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I cant compare to Appalling Spawn, but im 100% confident if you like teh new Augury and the Elvenfris, youll like Kralizec’ Origin- good luck finding it


  12. Commented by: Staylow

    I couldn’t get into this, and I’m not sure why. It’s very impressive musicianship wise, but it just didn’t click. I’d get 2-3 songs in and begin itching to switch to something else. Killer review though man – it makes me want to hear it again.


  13. Commented by: axiom

    A great album indeed. Nice balance between between the intense death tactics and the calmer melodic stuff. Really well conceived to my ears, makes Mithras’ last effort sound downright silly.


  14. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] 2. Augury – Fragmentary Evidence […]


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