Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hell United - Aura Damage

The Polish metal scene today is somewhat of an oddball of a scene compared to its peers, and especially when we have a look at its death metal scene, we can see that they keep their riffs sharp and crushing, and their percussion machine gun- like. Behemoth, Embrional and Decapitated can all be considered close to Hell United sound wise, but when I was exposed to the bands sophomore monolith ‘’Aura Damage’’, I knew the band had more than just that. Hell United actually have some history behind them, their beginnings dating back to 1997. Even though the band has been going on for a nice fifteen years, their discography says they have not quite been productive over these years, releasing only two full-lengths during their entire lifespan. Hell United create a evil aura of damage for their second album, and with all of the creative atrocities it beholds, ‘’Aura Damage’’ becomes an intriguing experience and an explosion of heavily stirred blackened death metal.

The interesting thing about Hell United is that they don’t strictly belong to a category of death or black metal, but instead they thread different influences together to fabricate a sound that gathers the strengths of all the influences involved in the mixture, forming a rather queer formula, established around the basis structures of old school death metal and thin wisps of black metal webbing the riffs together. I can compare the sound to the classic Florida death metal sound, consisting generally of ‘’Altars Of Madness’’ era Morbid Angel, and some intensified musicianship borrowed from similar acts. However, despite its relentless fury and unbridled energy, ‘’Aura Damage’’ is a much more evil rupture, and it possesses a very depressing, drowning overtone as well, augmented only with hints of technical prowess and arduous complexity, hidden under the shaggy blanket of riffs. ‘’Aura Damage’’ is furious, brutal and absolutely crushing, and most of its traits belong to the old school category, but there’s still some fairly large sharing of space between black and death.

With a wide spectrum of riffs decorating the thirty five minutes of chaotic black/death, you’ll find a good amount of variation here. Like I said, ‘’Aura Damage’’ is grim and even atmospheric at times, and the portions of atmosphere and ponderousness divides unequally through the songs, giving each affair its own sense of melancholy, grimness and destruction. So you end up getting different bits of this and that in each song – a fresh start. ‘’Apostle Of Plague’’ is a brutal invocation of sledgehammer riffs and mauling vitriol, crushing and shattering joints and bones as the massive black metal laced tremolos flutter by, while ‘’Deathlike Cold’’ is a much more stark and atmospheric affair than its predecessor, with rhythmic ponderousness and forlorn hopes gathering in one box. Amongst all the songs, ‘’Totality Of I’’ is the lengthiest and the drudgiest, a slowly enveloping engulfment of obscured bowels. ‘’Aura Damage’’ offers much more variation and complexity than I had anticipated, and even though it has a few minor flaws here and there (which are of little importance), but other than that, it’s downright evil and absorbing. 

Red Limitations
Aura Damage
Maelstrom's Gravity

Rating: 85,5%

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