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Aurin - Catharsis

Aurin
Catharsis
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 07 October 2014, 10:00 PM

According to the bio page of their website, all three members of New Jersey’s AURIN have been through some utter crap. Depression, mental illness, bullying and tragedy have all stuck their oar in at some point in their lives and as the title suggests, music is their outlet. It stands to reason therefore that this will be a deeply moving album. Their stated mission after all is “to write music that appeals to the mind, heart, soul and emotions of the listener,” while combining soothing pop melodies with heavy metal and on “Catharsis”, they almost succeed. They’ve not written a game-changer, but this is a solidly enjoyable hard rock album of which they can be proud.

The focal point inevitably is singer Sarah Anderson. Her rich, soulful performance is without any shadow of a doubt the biggest weapon in the band’s arsenal. Her death growls occasionally fall flat, but that aside she’s impossible to fault. Tracks like “Over” and the opening “November” wouldn’t pack any power with a lesser singer and she is at times angry, vengeful, broken, optimistic and vulnerable. She’s a veritable powerhouse of a front woman and a suitably gritty alternative to the larger-than-life aloofness of Amy Lee or Tarja Turunen.

This is most apparent on “Hysteria”, a bruising mid-album highlight that is essentially, Sarah Connor turned into a song. It’s a ballsy and upbeat rocker, neatly contrasted by the heartfelt ballad “Nothing Left” where the band show off their sentimental sides and guitarist Andrew Wayne gets to indulge in some distinctly 80’s fret board histrionics.

If there’s a fault with “Catharsis” though it’s that Anderson is pushed up front so much that the other performers tend to get a bit lost in the mix. Linda Medina’s drum work for example seems overly low in the mix and there’s a frustrating lack of bottom end to most of it, which results in a few tracks being robbed of the necessary power.

For the most part though, AURIN have done a pretty decent job here. It’s perhaps a bit too long and it doesn’t reach the emotional crescendo they were clearly aiming for, but while they won’t change the world, they’ll still rock it pretty hard nonetheless. It can’t be long until they have legions of teenage girls with their hair dyed red turning up to their live shows either.   

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. November
2. Asphyxiation
3. Stained
4. Vermin
5. Nothing Left
6. The Other Side
7. Over
8. Hysteria
9. The Reprisal
10. Last Wish
11. Holding On (Remastered)
Lineup:
Sarah Anderson - Vocals
Andrew Wayne - Guitars, Vocals
Linda Medina - Drums
Joe Palamara - Bass
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment
     


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