The spring is here, and different kinds of music are flowing in the air. Sometimes I need something fierce and wild to get my ass to jogging paths, sometimes the sunny weather tempts me to listen to something sweet and peaceful. However, this April’s playlist is more about murky rain showers than beautiful butterflies.

AURA NOIR: Out to Die CD (Indie Recordings 2012)

Over fifteen years of black/thrash metal is a lot – actually it’s so much that a band should have sniffed the every corner of this genre by now, but not Aura Noir. This “world’s ugliest band” sounds fresh like an open grave, and again they find more variance to their fierceness. If Hades Rise, their previous attack from 2008, was quite inspired by traditional thrash, now they are walking on a loony road again, and so Aura Noir sounds more Voivod than ever before. The riffs tingle and tangle and make their own spiral ways, but the aggressive output and pure power keep the engine rolling straight and naturally. Apollyon proves to be a damn good drummer again, and Aggressor and Blasphemer aren’t bad either. I guess the activation of Virus (Aggressor’s another great band) has affected Aura Noir in one way or another, but Out to Die is still a kick-ass metal album.

AGATUS: Gilgamesh 7” (Those Opposed Records 2012)

The more I get into Greek metal, the more I appreciate it. This small circle of musicians seemed to produce lots of quality stuff during the nineties, and while Zemial is already brilliant in my lists, Agatus is another source of epic, occult and shattering metal. Yeah, Agatus has Zemial’s mastermind Archon Vorskaath in its ranks but the main man here is his brother Eskarth the Dark One. Agatus has released two great albums earlier (Dawn of Martyrdom in 1994 and The Weaving Fates in 2002) and now they (or ‘he’ – Gilgamesh is 100% done by Eskarth) are back with this two-song EP. The style has remained the same: heavy metal meets black metal, synths clash with guitars, melodies flow like a rough forest river. Agatus has many similarities with Zemial, but where Zemial is full of Bathory and battles, Agatus shows also its softer side now and then. Tatra Vulgus is a fiercer track with a nice atmospheric break and ripping guitar solo, while the title track rides on with catchy clean vocals. Agatus can sound a bit naïve sometimes but the band’s honest and ecstatic attitude wipes away all the cynicism. Welcome back!

GRAND MOOD: Final Urge to March demo tape (CW Productions 2011)

God I love demo tapes. When you order one tape, you usually order three or four. You pick tapes that sound somehow interesting, and usually they tend to be quite mediocre releases, or even total shit. But now and then you find a real jewel which pierces your heart. Grand Mood’s only demo is one of those jewels: I can’t describe precisely, what makes this mystic release so amazing, but it has that certain x-factor: good, dynamic , original black metal that has “a taste of danger” like my friend would put it. Can’t say more, just buy this fucker if you have a chance.


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