9 Jun 2013
Aum - Of Pestilence... [EP] (2012, Le Crépuscule du Soir Productions)
Black metal from China? It's from Hong Kong, but yes. Aum consists of three members, one of which is also in the death/thrash band Aortic Regurgitation. The band has only existed since 2010 and had their first EP out the end of 2012. 2 years seems like a lot to write 6 songs, but the overall quality of these tracks is by far good enough to justify it.
It's obvious the band has its influence-wise roots in the Scandinavian scene of the 90's, but then again Aum have a certain touch of melody that makes the EP entirely their own. The riffs are like a mix of Immortal and Satyricon, the vocals a mix of Tom Warrior and Abbath, and the fast drumming is just short of reaching critical mass and causing a meltdown. This is tempo-focussed black metal with a thing for thrashy hooks and ruthless riffing, and it works. "Of Pestilence" may not be a titan of modern black metal, but Aum take all the best elements from various bands and put them together for some straight up good black metal.
To pinpoint the main weakness of the EP it is the fact that they build a lot of momentum within each song but don't utilize it properly. The songs fit together, but not sufficiently so to create a good flow between the tracks. Another thing is that some of the tracks have varying quality which makes me think the EP has been recorded during different sessions, or maybe even at different studios or handled by different personel. While this practice is not entirely uncommon it does give the EP a too diverse feel. They're small complaints in the grand scheme of things, but it does subtract from the overall score. 8/10 guitars.
2. Place of the Skull
3. Sheath to All Swords
4. The Forge of Zurvan
5. The Thawing of Pestilence
6. Aum (Acolytes to Eldritch Dimensions)
AUM official Facebook
Le Crépuscule du Soir Productions official site