Thursday, October 15, 2009

Augrimmer - From the Lone Winter's Cold (2009)

Earlier in the year, I reviewed Augrimmer's Autumnal Heaven EP, a respectable slice of German black metal, functional if not incredibly entertaining, and here they make their full-length debut in much the same fashion. From the Lone Winter's Cold is serviceable and it sounds good, but very few of the tracks stood out to my mind after a few spins. The band's style retains its cold desolation without hinging on the suicidal extremity of most obscure black metal artists, anchored in simple progressions of driving chords that occasionally provoke a deeper atmosphere or melody.

The album commences with 7+ minutes of the title track, a mid to fast paced rager which doesn't feel like it's going anywhere until the half point where the band delivers a decent melodic riff. "A Ride the Celestial Night" fares better, with its plummeting bass below streams of controlled aggression, with a decent, slower midsection. "The Nightful Sleep Below" is one of the stronger tracks on offer, from the glory of its opening salvo to the great melodies conjured as a 'lead'. "At Winterdawn" features some moody acoustics that transform into less memorable black metal, and "The Orcus Storms" seems deceptively blunt but weaves some fine, subtle melodic textures. "Deadlights" is a track from the band's 2007 demo, and appears here as another of the album's best.

From the Lone Winter's Cold has an honest tone that mirrors its composition. The guitars seethe like whipping winds, the acoustics glisten with folkish sorrow, and the bark of 'Satan' is certainly no hindrance. There is little cause for complaint, and Augrimmer is not a bad band, but with such an expansive sea of memorable black metal to sail, I'm afraid this gets lost in the shuffle.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

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