Auburn, a new artist on Blue Duck Records (hopefully a Billy Madison reference), hails from the state of Massachusetts. But upon listening to even just the first few seconds of their new EP, titled Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, you would be more apt to guess that they would be from Georgia, Mississippi, or somewhere at least near there. The EP has a huge southern metal sound, resembling bands like Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Once Nothing (more so the former).
EP opener "Waking Snakes" starts off with that Maylene sound. Some heavy guitars and drums serve as the background for a southern rock-style guitar lick, while the vocals focus on a mix of guttural screams and half-screaming/half-singing. The style continues on throughout the rest of the EP. "Like Trying To Kiss A Freight Train" even offers a cowbell-laden intro. A very big highlight of the album is Auburn's ability to throw in some heavy metal breakdowns. A lot of "Wise Guys" consists of breakdowns, and they're a very beautiful thing. The album finisher, "Party Song," really is a party of sorts. It's hectic and slightly chaotic, but structured. The pace changes quite frequently, particularly in the first minute and a half of the song.
Auburn keeps the focus of their lyrics directed toward God. In "Like Trying To Kiss A Freight Train," the chorus (which is coming from God's perspective) says, "Don't run away My child, come back in My arms, I know you may stumble, I won't let you fall." With lots of new artists making their appearance in the metal genre, it's nice to see that - in the midst of the ones that don't - we're still going to get those bands that keep their attention on the Creator.
This EP isn't anything new, but it's certainly good. Lots of bands are making their way in the music biz with this particular sound nowadays, and some of them just can't pull it off. Auburn, however, is able to do it and make it sound great. Once they get enough for a full-length record, it should be nothing short of goodness all the way through. They've given us a small taste of what they can do, and now anyone who listens to Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth will have high expectations for their first full-length. The only thing I ask for differently next time around is to stay away from the supposed-to-be-cute-but-thought- provoking Christian slogans (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth is an acronym for BIBLE, if you hadn't caught that yet). So long as they stay away from anymore of that, everything else they do in the future should be great.- Review date: 1/18/09, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Blue Duck Records
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