Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn
Shit I Am Totally Bummed Out About, pt. 1: ok there's this new Aura Noir album, so utterly necro and cult that they even use words like "necro" in their lyrics. I know 'cause I read the lyrics to the opening track; they were right there in the high-gloss booklet. By the end of that skim-through, I had the general idea, and I just sat back to enjoy some incredibly pure blackened thrash.
And enjoy it I did; Aura Noir plays unpretentious, direct, pure, utterly great stuff. There are no production values to speak of. I think the guitar pedal has maybe two settings. The vocals, while they'll still give outsiders giggle fits, aren't of the incomprehensible reverb growl school. They're thrash vox: energetic barks from the middle of the throat, like war-cries to the already-converted. As far as I'm concerned, they kick ass & that's all there is to it, though your mileage may vary.
Anyhow, as I said, I stopped reading the lyric sheet early, and that was how I came to be convinced that the chorus of "Black Metal Jaw" contained the greatest tossed-off ad-lib in the history of music. Some thrash-era metal guys say "Uh!" or "Hey!" at the end of a line (Tom G. Warrior, for example); others give out a howl, or a "yeah," or snarl like Dave Mustaine. But what it sounded like the guy from Aura Noir was saying here, and with great gusto at that, was: "It appears grim!"
I don't think I need to tell you that, had the singer in fact been saying what I thought he was saying, "Black Metal Jaw" would be a lock for Greatest Song Of All Time. That it would also take home the blackened gold medal from the Poseur-Killer of the New Millennium competition, I do not doubt. Unfortunately, I got so stoked about it tonight that I sought correlation from the lyric sheet, and it turns out that what he's saying is "Black metal jaw/in a fierce grin."
Well, of course he is. Duh. Makes more sense. And that's cool, too, I can get down with a fierce grin almost as handily as I could have with "it appears grim." The album, which is called The Merciless, is of very high quality and I am not worthy of its righteousness. Still. For a brief moment, even if only in my greatly beleaguered mind, it held the greatest take-it-to-the-bridge moment in the history of music, and I was so happy. Damn. Didn't we almost have it all? I take comfort in the album's overall assault, which leaves little room for tourists. Great stuff from front to back and recommended without reservation. Hail Aura Noir!
(Postscript, or "Shit I Am Totally Bummed About, pt. II": while writing this, I learned that Aura Noir's Ole Jorgen Moe, also known as Appolyon, fell from a fourth-story window earlier this month and is presently in serious condition in an Oslo hospital, having suffered major injury which may result in the loss of his legs. Obvious "it appears grim" jokes aside, we here at Last Plane to Jakarta wish him all speed in recovery and extend our love to his friends and family.)
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