Released – August 11, 2009
Are you feeling a little uninspired by the bland, cookie cutter death metal bands that have been popping in and out of the scene in the past couple of years? If so, fear not, ladies and gentlemen – Metalholic has the answer for you. Canadian progressive death metal group Augury has added to their discography one explosive recording in their 2009 sophomore album entitled “Fragmentary Evidence”.
First and foremost, Augury puts the “progressive” back into the term “progressive death metal”. They have found their own niche so to speak among the many bands out there. They seek not to imitate or mimic any of their contemporaries, and their success is evident in this release. The production crew on this album is a super-group of veterans from the death metal scene – Yannick St. Amand (Despised Icon), and Kataklysm guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais (Misery Index, Despised Icon, Malevolant Creation). So it’s no surprise that the album as a whole sounds great. The first track, entitled “Aetheral” starts off at a fast gallop, with the bass lines and the guitar work interweaving together. In my opinion this is very positively reminiscent of Necrophagist. The album jumps around from blast beating, fast- hand rhythmic guitar lines, and growling vocals to tracks like “Brimstone Landscapes”. This piece provides gentle acoustic guitar work in the beginning, only to again be pummeled by hyper-speed metal. If that’s not enough, there is also a female vocal presenting itself in a call and response interlude that is very much like a mini Bohemian Rhapsody in technical death metal format. I found this slightly cheesy, but that’s just me.
It is important to note here the presence of several guest vocalists appearing throughout the album. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out who’s singing where on the album, but we have Sven de Caluwé (ABORTED, SYSTEM DIVIDE), Syriak and Leilindel (UNEXPECT), Youri Raymond (CRYPTOPSY, UNHUMAN), Sébastien Croteau (NECROTIC MUTATION), Filip Ivanovic (AGONY), and Eric Fiset (OBSCENE CRISIS, NERVOUS IMPULSE). What I liked about this album in particular was, there isn’t one particular element happening throughout any one song. Yet, throughout the album, every note has a purpose; there is nothing this band does that seems out of place. The album concludes with the epic eleven minute “Oversee the Rebirth”. This track seems like Augury was purposely taking you back throughout everything they led you up to within the first eight tracks. However, it works well within the context of the album as a whole, and provides a great closer.
To conclude, “Fragmentary Evidence” is an album that will earn an immortal place in the collections of those who love bands such as Necrophagist, and for you old school metalheads out there, Death. The record as a whole will provide a refreshing new addition to the progressive death metal talent pool, while at the same time managing to take influence from their peers, while not “sounding” like any other band.
Rating : 9.4/10
Notable Tracks: Aetheral, Simian Cattle, Brimstone Landscapes, Skyless, Oversee the Rebirth