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Canadian tech-death quartet Augury has been silent for nine years, lying cautiously in wait, ready to pounce at the most opportune moment. Now, the time is nigh: Illusive Golden Age, their upcoming third full-length, strikes with all the brainbending riffs, layered blasts, and harrowing growls associated with their name. Despite the ever-mechanizing nature of tech-death -- resulting in "engineered" albums and en masse replication -- Augury goes full organic here. That's not to say the obviously complex music they write is unidentifiable, or even unfamiliar; rather, the band places emotional impact at the forefront, imbuing tech-death with the all-important human element it so seemingly tries to self-extricate. Indeed, Illusive Golden Age's eight tracks are woven emotively, championing chorus moments and dramatic vocal highs over raw, blunt expressions of power. Check out an exclusive stream and music video of the album's third track "Carrion Tide" below.

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As a stereotypical tech-death track, "Carrion Tide" functions miserably. Its focal points include the opening blast chorus and resulting vocal ascensions, not the dizzying guitar calisthenics or spasmodic drumming which instead serve more as structure than anything else. That said, Augury tactically dole out aggression half-way through the song, but then the anger disperses into the ether with a wild solo's lead-in to soft, jazzy playing. Opting not to charge like a locomotive, the band pirouettes delicately instead, without sacrificing any of the hard steel. The talent lies in how to shift so much mass so quickly and accurately without fat-fingering it. "Cumbersome" is not a word in Augury's dictionary; instead, "Carrion Tide" (and the rest of Illusive Golden Age) is entirely lean and clean.

This is refreshing, especially when it seems that technically proficient musicians (especially guitarists) are ubiquitous. With enough time and hard work, complex music can be arranged and its performance mastered; however, if complexity is the sole goal of the creator, the result will be sterile and artificial. Despite the market for rinse-and-repeat tech-death, nobody will actually remember the soundalikes. On the other hand, the complexity that naturally results from other considerations (e.g. songwriting) helps serve the album, making it distinct and therefore special. Such is the case with Illusive Golden Age, a unashamed tech-death album which becomes one with its eccentricity.

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Illusive Golden Age releases March 30th via The Artisan Era. Follow Augury on Bandcamp here and Facebook here.

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