Son of Aurelius

The Farthest Reaches

Written by: BL on 07/09/2010 02:15:12

It's certainly not far off to say that having not heard of this Santa Cruz, California five piece band previously, Son Of Aurelius' debut record "The Farthest Reaches" is certainly quite a handful and rather grand a debut. If the cover art is any indication, the band's rather "colourful" portrayal of modern progressive and technical death metal is certainly an eye opener. But that could have been expected with the orignal members all graduating from the prestigious Berkelee College Of Music.

Son Of Aurelius reminds me much like much older The Black Dahlia Murder, with their melodic death metal dualling guitars heritage, but faster and a little heavier at places while a bit more melodic in others. The drumming simiarly simply runs at a blindingly quick pace - rapid bass pedals, blast beat assortments and an abundance of complex fills often come together to form a technically impressive backing. It will initially take a few concentrated listens before you really appreciate the wide array of riffs and arrangements on display (by around the third track "The Farthest Reaches" is where the fun really begins), and reaping the rewards feel more and more gratifying from a simply awe-inspiring perspective as the songs go by.

However the tracks do at times walk that fine line of being a little too self-indulgent without really realising their true potential (The end track "The First, The Serpent" takes about three minutes before it really starts getting anywhere), either by ponderous song structures or a lack of a solid memorable part/melody (despite the stunningly melodic instrumental "The Calm"). The vocals complement the instruments fairly well, but adhere a little too much the old lower growl (its not even that low) and higher pitched shrieks combo. They also seem a little weak compared to the amount of sound the guitars generate, and when you have the utterly blistering drums underneath pounding away, they seem too distant to really leave any sort of intimdating mark. Which is a bit of a shame since Josh Miller's performance is sufficiently competent.

So then where does that leave of Son Of Aurelius then? Well it's certainly an impressive debut if anything else technically. They're making their mark by showcasing their impressive instrument work which is sure to win them listeners who can really appreciate it. However to make ground on the bigger established names in their own scene, they're going to have up the ante with more variety and direction in their songs before the world will really take notice.


Download: Olympus Is Forgotten, Facing The Gorgon, The Calm
For the fans of: The Black Dahlia Murder (old), The Faceless, Conducting from the Grave
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.06.2010
Good Fight Entertainment

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