Beyond Creation – The Aura
Label: PRC Music
Alright, I know I’m almost a year too late in writing this review, but The Aura deserves whatever praise and press it can garner; especially because I can’t seem to find any significant mention of its merits outside a handful of reviews brought up by Google. So, in case you haven’t heard (which usually seems to be the case), Beyond Creation hails from Montréal—the tech capital of North America—and as one might expect, brings forth an absolutely bludgeoning maelstrom of tech death that continues to floor me, even after six months of constant listening.
The Aura comes out with one hell of an opener in “No Request for the Corrupted”. Beyond Creation wield their instruments as extensions of themselves with frightening virtuosity. Too often do those with musical talent lose themselves in a sea of masturbatory leads, but the solos of The Aura weave in and out of each song seamlessly, and serve the music, rather than just floating above it. The two axe-men of Beyond Creation (Simon Girard and Kevin Chartre) make each riff memorable, and never overstay their welcome to the point of repetition. Only once or twice does the band fall prey to an all-too-simple and overused rhythmic breakdown riff in “Coexistence”, which is embellished in a noticeably unfamiliar way—those arpeggios? that dissonance? fucking slays me.
Drummer Guyot Begin-Benoit may move through the regular motions of death metal—with the obligatory blasting, gallops, triplets, and rolls—but is extremely catchy and well-suited to the music. He provides a perfect backdrop for the occasional clean passages that appear through the album. And check out the crash pattern on the chorus of “Coexistence”, or the percussion lines on “Elevation Path” and the title track.
Amidst the intricate cacophony lies the true genius of Beyond Creation: ex-Augury bassist Dominic “Forest” LaPointe. He approaches his instrument as a living entity—impressive for a genre infamous for ride-the-low-end bass playing. Perhaps partially thanks to his fretless 6-string, LaPointe’s bass lines not only follow the guitar riffs, but also innovatively deviate from the path, like on album gems “The Deported” and “Omnipresent Perception”.
The clear highlight of The Aura is its production—which finds a common balance between all members in a band where instrumental performance takes the forefront. Girard’s double-duty vocals sometimes suffer—as in “Le Detenteur”—whereby the mid-range growls sound unnecessarily over-produced. Still, this level of lossless clarity is a feat in itself, and overall, The Aura might just be my favorite Metal acquisition of 2011.
1. No Request For The Corrupted
3. Chromatic Horizon
4. Omnipresent Perception
5. Injustice Revealed
6. Le Détenteur
7. The Aura
8. Social Disability
9. Elevation Path
10. The Deported