Aurora Borealis
Worldshapers

This US band has been around for years and years and it has mostly released albums via its own label, Nightsky Productions I remember the founder Ron Vento struggling to promote their music on forums back in the day and tracking its progress, each album was largely an improvement over the earlier ones. They play black/death metal, remaining gritty not unlike Angelcorpse, but being more dynamic comparatively. It’s got a unique theme and all album artworks represent that. As the band name suggests, they’re mostly indicative of the Aurora Borealis phenomenon happening in the north pole although the band has progressed to involve sci-fi imagery not far removed from Nocturnus, where artwork is concerned. Musically, the band remains true to its original black/death sound but it’s doing it with far more potential and competency than the others. The latest 2014 album has bits of sci-fi fireworks but they’re too few and far between to really affect the music on an intrinsic level.

The band’s definitely got a solid US death metal sense. It’s not flirting too much with the European style of melody-infused death metal as it may appear. You’ll be surprised to find it so hard-hitting and gravelly and yet be rife with some of the most driven and enthusiastic activity. It’s not technical but it’s varied and god, it’s catchy. Again it’s not some dumbed down music, but catchiness with aggression, the kind they don’t make any more. Floridian death metal bands have much in common with the way Aurora Borealis structures its songs; apart from Angelcorpse, there’s the ever-present Morbid Angel influence, infected with early Malevolent Creation rabidity and some of the newer Monstrosity material similarity as well. This is what makes death metal so good, few could contest with that. It’s got death metal in its genes, but Aurora Borealis takes the vitriol from black metal especially in the vocal department and gives the music an edge that’s hard to miss. It’s refreshing in a sense because too often standard growls make the proceedings dull and repetitive. Here there’s that special spice, that sizzling quality that comes from the rasps, with a certain thrashiness to it as well.

The hooks make this album special. It’s normal to get lost in the music but they come as a constant reminder of the quality of the band’s music, never letting your attention drift too far away. I wish there were more atmospheric elements as the artworks suggest but if you want your music to be aggressive and gritty and riffy all the same time, you couldn’t possibly get disappointed with this. Worldshapers is an accomplished effort, where the band has used its two decades of experience to make sure it’s as potent as ever, probably better. In times where numbing brutality is the order of the day, Aurora Borealis surely stands out, heads and shoulders above.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kunal Choksi
April 11th, 2014

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