Aura Noir was one of the first Black Thrash groups to emerge from the Norwegian scene, and at the time it was quite refreshing to hear a band that wasn’t blatantly ripping off Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor and Burzum. That was 1995/1996. Four full-length albums later, we’re at Out to Die. Destruction and Kreator worship still abounds in every song. If I’d been born in the 1990s or had never been through the original Thrash heyday, I would probably think that this was the shit. Unfortunately, I was buying Destruction albums when Infernal Overkill was new. To me, albums like Out to Die are a pale imitation of the originators. They really aren’t doing anything new with the sound. Much like other bands in the movement, they’re attempting to recapture that spark of glory that made bands like Destruction, Sodom, Voivod, Metallica, Slayer and Exodus legendary. This is not to say that the band’s playing and sound are crap. This is well executed and well produced. The problem I have with Aura Noir is that they aren’t doing anything that I haven’t heard already. They found their sound long ago and they’re sticking to it. It’s formula from beginning to end with little to no deviation from “the plan.” I’m old and admittedly jaded. Bands like Aura Noir need to work a lot harder to impress me. Out to Die didn’t go anywhere that the band hasn’t been already - and they’re treading on already well explored ground to begin with. There aren’t any mistakes here, but when you play things this safe, you generally don’t have any. No boundaries were pushed on this LP at all. If you already own a couple Aura Noir albums, you really don’t need another one because musically, this isn’t any different than what you already have.
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