Code – Augur Nox

Code_Aug (200x200)Augur Nox bewilders me.

On this album, I hear Operation: Mindcrime riffs with gurgling black metal vocals one moment, Warrel Dane/lower-register Geoff Tate vocals waxing operadic over melodic black metal arrangements the next. Very-familiar 4/4 drum beats preface very-bizarre odd-time rhythmic patterns, and become the backbone of the record’s momentum. Haunting, minor-key synths back melody-laden, classic metal-era solos, further defying easy categorization . Placed together on this, Code’s third full-length, these elements give rise to the progressive tag, a descriptor that may either a) have you running for the hills if you prefer your extreme music straightforward and/or filthy or b) have you clicking on the link below if you are intrigued by complicated (avante-garde?) cleanliness. Most of us are probably c), fans that enjoy some combination or all of the artists/albums/styles mentioned above in differing amounts. For myself, the more grim and grittier sounds always take precedence, but Augur Nox exudes such a wide variety of genres I have difficulty deciding on where I land with it as a whole. Multi-faceted instrumentalist Aort, whose other projects (Binah, Indesinence, etc) I enjoy immensely, proffers his awe-inspiring abilities for all to behold, pushing the tracks’ meticulous structures to the brink of mere exhibition but stopping just short enough for each song to breathe a life all its own. For one talented as he, it has to feel liberating to let go of restraint and explore all areas of the electric guitar without deference to any one of metal’s gods, as it must be also for Wacian, who can screech with the best of them and yet still explore dense harmonies and layered, choral performances all within the span of a single song. But while Augur Nox deftly avoids the ‘we nail-gunned all these compositions together’ approach of, say, Dream Theater (excluding DT’s excellent track ‘Pull Me Under’), I must wonder if the overall emotional punch will diminish on repeated plays (as often happens for me when experiencing ‘progressive’ albums) or if Code’s latest will mesh as a singular accomplishment, belying its amalgam-feel on initial spins. Luckily, Augur Nox truly exhibits so much that by the time you’ll come to your own conclusions, the album will have earned every penny of your hard-earned dollar/euro/etc – on a per-hour basis at the very least. -Jim

Agonia Records

~ by cliftonium on October 9, 2013.

2 Responses to “Code – Augur Nox”

  1. Listening now, it had me grinning and nodding “yesss” instantly. Prog noodling for the evil bastards, very nice!

  2. Oh and hell yeah, Pull Me Under! \m/

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