AlbumsApril 12, 20243,789 views

Atræ Bilis Aumicide


Aumicide
1. Protoxenesis 2. Hell Simulation 3. Salted In Stygia 4. Inward To Abraxas 5. To Snuff The Spirit Guides 6. Aumicide 7. Kingdom Of Cortisol 8. A Monolith Aflame 9. Through The Hologram's Cervix 10. Excruciate Incarnate
2024 20 Buck Spin
Our score 7

4/19/2024

After putting out one of the best technical, avant-garde death metal albums in 2021 with Apexiapian, Atræ Bilis were poised to become one of the new greats of the decade. The Vancouver group really had a knack for sundering, complicated metal that was still palatable and approachable, all things considered. There was also a palpable darkness that helped elevate their aesthetics which, in a genre as overwrought as this one, does wonders to help you stand out.

 

 

Needless to say, Aumicide had a lot to live up to, made even more apparent when they dropped "Salted In Stygia" as the lead single which showed the band in exactly the form fans wanted: same, but more. It's a great place to be for a band like them especially when, to me, a lot of bands like them have fallen out of favor as of late. Don't worry - Atræ Bilis are here to carry the torch with only a couple stumbles along the way.

 

Thematically, Aumicide “tells of a test specimen subject to experiments in faith removal by intromitting simulations of Hell to sever the self from the multiverse, resulting in the genesis of a new era; an egregore engineered by an absolute godlessness.” It’s esoteric for sure - I’m just returning from a 30-minute rabbit hole I went down looking deeper into the concepts and I don’t feel any more equipped to convey them than I was before. Thankfully the music goes a different kind of hard so you don’t have to worry about that.

 

 

With songs like “Hell Simulation” and “To Snuff The Spirit Guides”, the themes are represented pretty clearly. Dissonance breaks you down while eclectic melodies build up elsewhere, all backed by wonderfully robust drums. Vocals are serviceable - about what you’d expect from music like this - but the range is nice, going from bellowed lows to raspy highs. “Inward To Abraxas”, the album’s second single, is a monolith within Aumicide. Being the longest track, it capitalizes on that time with a diverse canvas of tones and moods with punchy segments and vacuous atmosphere that help flesh out the story of the album and its eventual absence of god(s).

 

With that said, Aumicide does trend more toward the tech-first doctrine - placing weird, wild, but impressive musicianship ahead of catchy writing more often than not. The above songs manage quite well in their service to tech death, but still stay pleasantly fun. I could say the same for “Kingdom Of Cortisol” which rips as well, slowing things down to a groovy swell toward the end, but songs like “A Monolith Aflame” and “Through The Hologram’s Cervix” (great name) don't deliver enough for me to chalk it up to a minor complaint along with the middling interlude of the title track that either doesn’t have enough instrumentation or not enough atmosphere to be a worthy pit stop.

 

 

This would absolutely be a waste of a review if I didn’t mention “Protoxenesis”, the customary vocalless intro track that Atræ Bilis are becoming known for. This shit is straight off the cutting room floor of early 2000s Decapitated with its horrendously heavy, catchy guitars, expertly realized drums, and an awesome structure and progression that makes every other song on the album jealous. They really put their best foot forward and I wish there was more of this rough playfulness on other songs.

 

Bottom Line: Atræ Bilis maintain the strengths of their debut album, expanding lightly in a few places, and while they don’t falter in that sense on this sophomore album, it’s about neck-and-neck with Apexapian overall. Listening to that album after (and before) listening to Aumicide makes one thing apparent: the band know their shit, and it’s clear they have potential to really birth interesting music in this realm without full-on missteps, but I’ve yet to be blown away by them.


7 comments

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anonymous 31 days ago

Yet to be blown. Must suck

anonymous 31 days ago

HIDEOUS ARTWORK, TRY HARD OUTFITS, AND HORRENDOUS MUSIC THAT WILL NEVER ACHIEVE ZULU NUMBERS! HANG IT UP AND GET A JOB AT DEL TACO!!

anonymous 31 days ago

Damn that album art is f*cked up haha

anonymous 31 days ago

I'd give it a Zulu 9 based on the artwork alone.

anonymous 28 days ago

D. is a much better reviewer than Smelliot

anonymous 28 days ago

Elliott must be fired by now anyway

anonymous 25 days ago

Can't remember ur f*cking band name great idea