The occult-themed Vancouver trio Auroch began as the thrash band Tusk, before falling under the influence of early-’90s Florida death metal and changing their name. In 2012, following several demos, they finally released their debut full-length From Forgotten Worlds, which combined the blinding speed of Morbid Angel with the dizzying time signatures of Death.
Their follow-up, Taman Shud, marks the addition of bassist Shawn Hache, who is also the guitarist and vocalist for the Canadian thrash band Mitochondrion (interestingly, Sebastian Montesi, Auroch’s lead vocalist, plays bass for Mitochondrion). The Mitochondrion connection seems to have made an impression on Montesi, who, with Hache’s help, has injected more texture and diversity into Auroch. Check out the haunting whispers and apocalyptic folk guitar on the title track and “The Balkan Affair,” both of which provide welcome contrast to the album’s multi-speed bludgeoning. More impressive still is the way Auroch layers clean, untreated screams directly over distorted growls on “Death Canonized” and “Novemportis” — the result sounds more evil than the shrillest black metal screeches.