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Album Reviews : Son of Aurelius – The Farthest Reaches

By on August 31, 2010

Anybody who regularly keeps an eye on my reviews knows well my distaste for technical death metal. With the exception of The Faceless, Blotted Science and the few others with a somewhat interesting sound, the genre is overflowing with meandering monstrosities thrown together by guitar nerds who couldn’t write an actual melody if Hendrix was their mentor.

But every now and then, there is an exception. Son of Aurelius are one of those, but only just. There is still a decent amount of incongruous drivel but it’s offset with the slower moments and outside influences that any band within the genre require to have any sort of character or personality. It’s the small things like the cinematic opening of “Olympus is Forgotten” or the eerie, slow groove of “Pandora’s Burden” that make all the difference. Closer “The First, The Serpent” stands out with their melodic death metal influences really coming to the surface, resulting in a song that actually sounds like a consistent six minutes of music rather than interchangeable parts. However even some of the more traditional tech death sections here seem to be that bit more balanced and thought out than most; with haphazard madness contrasting with the calm and harmonious.

Vocalist Josh Miller really drives things up a notch too. Both his low growl and his higher (almost black metal) scream are hard to fault and he really knows when to use each, often using the two to create the menacing feeling that made the latest Cattle Decapitation offering so good.

In a genre that is essentially the musical equivalent of Lego, Son of Aurelius have managed to push through to the middle-ground between Dragonforce-esque musical wankery and good songwriting. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come, and The Farthest Reaches isn’t just a fluke. 7/10

Band: Son of Aurelius
Album: The Farthest Reaches
Year: 2010
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Label: Good Fight Music/Riot!
Origin: USA
http://www.myspace.com/sonofaurelius

Track listing:
1. Mercy for Today
2. Let Them Hate and Fear
3. The Farthest Reaches
4. Olympus is Forgotten
5. Facing the Dragon
6. Pandora’s Burden
7. A Champion Reborn
8. Myocardial Infarction
9. The Calm
10. A Good Death
11. The First, The Serpent <- Reviewers choice

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.