27 Aug 2012

Auspicium - For the World that Was and that is to Come [Full length] (2012, First Church of the Left Hand Path)

Auspicium, an American practitioner of the dark arts more commonly referred to af black metal. One man projects like Auspicium are very widely spread in the world of black metal, and while I remember in the early years to me it seemed like kind of a novelty and something that made a band interesting, it's almost the exact opposite nowadays. I find it almost hard to find a black metal band with more than one member!

Patrick Hasson's band, labeled as atmospheric black metal, suffers from many of the same problems as other solo bands. The lack of differing opinions and varying inputs means the music has a tendency to become a little single-tracked, and while some bands musically can handle the lack of input I sort of feel that Auspicium is not one of those bands. Don't get me wrong, there are several decent riffs and the songwriting isn't as bad as numerous other things I've listened to over the years, but it does become a little dreary because it's easy to tell alot, if not all, of the ideas are thought up in the same tenebrous mind.

The solo effort managed to surprise me quite a bit on more than one occasion, though. Like when he threw in a little clean vocals in Judgement; While it wasn't as well executed as I had hoped, it still helped mixing things up a little and giving the listener a break from the otherwise monotonous atmosphere.

I almost feel like I'm giving Auspicium a little too much shit. I'm not familiar with his impressive back catalogue of four albums and a couple of demos, splits and EPs all released in about four years since the first album Valde Atra Mare in 2008. It's just that there's really not anything new under the sun. I read somewhere that the early material of Auspicium had a certain nautical feel to it, which I could imagine would be something a little out of the ordinary. However, there seems to be nothing of the sort on For the World that Was and that is to Come, but some parts, especially the guitar work, is actually pretty solid. I mentioned Judgement earlier and that same track has some great riffs.

To round things off I'd like to say that Auspicium does capture a cold, nature-like atmosphere that I'm quite impressed by. Through well-versed guitar playing and at times surprising choices in songwriting the album keeps me interested for a while, but ultimately I can't give it more than 7/10 because it doesn't really stand out among the hordes of other atmospheric bands out there.

1. For All Who Seek These Waves
2. The World that is to Come
3. Judgement
4. Reclamation
5. Justice
6. A Basilica of Black Stars

AUSPICIUM official site

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