The Tale of Black (Black Mark)
by Scott Hefflon
Hmm, I’m intrigued… I never thought to mix Kreator and prog rock. Quite an interesting, if odd, mixture. As with many of Black Mark’s releases, the production is so sterile, you’ve got to boost the bass and chain-smoke to make this sound heavy, but the basics are definitely there. And this is merely a debut. That means Auberon‘ll probably get some of the wankery out of their system by their next album and have the budget to sound three-dimensional. Welcome to the drawback of the digital age. It takes ’til halfway through song four for them to show off the fact that their singer can not only rip out that classic snarl, but also soar majestically with the clear vocals of, ya know, Dream Theater and Fates Warning and all that. While not my favorite style, it breaks up all the roaring rather nicely. And, to their credit, such a new band writing such progressive interpretations of classic riff-a-rama is truly inspiring. Many an interesting effect, a few tips of the hat to metal legends (without ever really stooping to the level of blatant plagiarism), and, in general, quite a breath of fresh air. Looking forward to what they do in the future.