After nine long years, Augury’s third album dropped on March 30th this year. It is an album that has been well worth the wait. As the newest addition to The Artisan Era roster, rest assured the Montreal-based progressive death metal quartet is holding nothing back with this highly-anticipated follow up to ‘Fragmentary Evidence’, entitled ‘Illusive Golden Age.’
Don’t let the title elude you. If you are a concept-buff that ponders the significance of the human experience, this album is sure to give you the existential crisis you’re looking for.
With a name like ‘Augury’, the theme is clear; and, as stated by the band, ‘Illusive Golden Age’ is a poetic tale about the recurrence of downfall and a glance at some factors that bring down societies, influenced by lost civilizations and their enigmas.
If that alone does not pique your interest…
The lineup features Patrick Loisel on vocals and guitars, Mathieu Marcotte (Humanoid) on guitars, Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (First Fragment, Teramobil, ex-Beyond Creation) on bass, and the return of Antoine Baril (Contemplator) on drums. The synergy between the members is as thick as the atmosphere generated by the recurrent harmonies before giving way to slaying solos by each member.
Augury most certainly earned the distinction as progressive death metal by breaking the ground right out from under you with abrupt shifts in tempo and atypical arrangements, seeded from diverse influences ranging from jazz to classical to black metal. What may ensnare you most is the holistic composition: each song is made so engrossing by the unique interconnection of instrumentals that sweep between the individual members and the whole of the quartet. Each song is an eclectic and enigmatic beast, and you’re about to be pummeled. Mixed and mastered by Cryptopsy’s Chris Donaldson at The Grid Studios in Montreal, there is no doubt of an excellent final product.
The cover artwork by Filip Ivanović is as jaw-dropping as the music itself. It catches you more than once and you have to keep coming back for more – just in case you missed something the last time. It’s simple yet powerful: the illusive remnants of a possibly decaying cityscape in the background, and a bead-adorned mummified corpse still clutching a relic situated in the foreground. If you are a collector, this is definitely a pre-order you will want on vinyl.
Although we had to wait nearly nine years for this album, it was certainly worth the wait. Augury has returned to remind us that they will not release something until it is characteristically Augury: disciplined and refined, yet holistic and organic in the way that progressive death metal relentlessly strives to attain. Whether you are a diehard progressive death metal fan or not, you will certainly not be disappointed by the long-awaited ‘Illusive Golden Age.’