Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Augury-Concealed

A couple of months ago I wrote a review on Augury’s most recent album, Fragmentary Evidence. A lot of you guys seemed to really enjoy listening to the album and/or reading the review I wrote. Well after I saw them live a couple of weeks ago when they were one of the opening acts for Soilwork, I was so blown away by their performance that I just had to get their first album. Concealed was released all the way back in 2004. The long period of time in between album releases was probably because they weren’t signed on to any label for a couple of years. Then they signed on to Nuclear Blast and released Fragmentary Evidence in early 2009. The lineup back then was pretty close to what it is now, obviously not exactly. I’ll tell you, listening to this album was a very unique and interesting experience; I can’t tell you if it was a positive or negative one, it was just nothing that I’ve ever experienced before while listening to music.

I have listened to this album straight through countless times trying to figure out what other genres and/or bands influence their music. I still can’t come up with anything. This means that these guys have created an entirely new sound. In some of the songs, they have a really ambient sound in a lot of parts of it to give it a futuristic and mysterious feeling. There are quite a bit of sung female voices in some of the songs, which really have an edge, because in some of the places where they have it, it doesn’t fit in with the other music very well. None of the musicians use a traditional approach of playing their instruments. Everything in their music seems to have been crafted and put together by the band. Of course, the bass guitar is the dominant instrument in their music, although it could use to be a bit louder at many parts. The bassist plays a lot of the notes by tapping the strings on the neck with the hand that he would normally have by the pickups. The guitar playing is nothing short of very abstract and new. The guitarist does a lot of strumming on the neck, playing with the different effects, and frequent changes in the speed that he plays. Although it may sound like it, their drummer does not do any blast-beat drumming in any of Augury’s songs. I know this for a fact now that I’ve seen the band live and have chatted with some of the members.

My favorite song off the album is Beatus. It has also come to be one of my very favorite Augury songs. In the very technical and pretty intro, the lead guitarist is playing all of the notes just by pressing down on the strings with his hand that is on the neck of the guitar. His other hand is on the volume knob on the guitar turning it up and down to give it a really cool sound. Halfway through the intro, the other guitarist and eventually the bassist join in doing the exact same thing. The overall sound structure is very Avant Garde and unique. In Russian Dolls Universes is a very abstract song. Probably because in several parts of the song, the way that the female vocals are sung reminds me of how the choir from 2001: A Space Odyssey sounded. Augury’s very experimental, futuristic sound will definitely be remembered for a long time, and will influence many bands in the future. Anyone who enjoyed reading my review on Fragmentary Evidence should go out and buy this album. Not only them, but anyone who is into progressive music, and enjoyed reading this review should go out and buy this album. I also noticed that the vocalist for Augury read my Fragmentary Evidence review and left a comment. It would be awesome if he read this review. This album gets 15/20.