26 May 2016

Aum: "Of Pestilence"

Hong Kong black metal with no gimmicks or lame frills
Featuring fully half of the members of Hong Kong thrash maniacs Aortic Regurgitation, Aum worships at the altar of black metal. Having started out in 2010, it wasn't until 2012 that the Of Pestilence EP found its way from the trio's minds to our ears.

Though Aum are clearly influenced by the second wave of black metal from the Nordic countries, there is a touch of melody present that sternly sets them apart. To the sound of blast beats, the riffs sound like a mix of Immortal and Celtic Frost, with the vocalist ranging somewhere between Abbath and Tom Warrior. Though focused on high speeds, Aum produce some easily discernible riffs that are highly enjoyable in their ruthless simplicity.

"Aum builds intensity and momentum early on..."

The six tracks on Aum's debut release feel mostly like individual compositions and less so like a cohesive string of events. Every track is ruthless and momentous in its own right, but there is little correlation between each composition in terms of flow. Aum builds intensity and momentum early on and only slows down a few times to release ponderous breaks from the taxing blast beats.

At times it sounds like the tracks were recorded at different sessions as the basic sound varies a bit. Mostly, though, it is hard to tell and doesn't affect the overall experience, but it does lessen the quality so as to not be completely in line with the great, hook-filled songwriting. Songs like Place of the Skull and The Forge of Zurvan impress with a sense of variety that marks the highlights of the Of Pestilence EP. As far as black metal goes, Aum may not be an innovative bunch, but they're definitely high rollers.


Released in 2012 by Le Crépuscule du Soir Productions


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