Auroch and Mitochondrion are two Vancouver, BC, bands with interlocking parts who have been favorites of this site for a long stretch of years. They have joined forces in a split release called In Cronian Hour that’s finally on the brink of release via Dark Descent and Hellthrasher Productions, and we’re damned fortunate to bring you a stream of the split today.
We’ve been waiting for this release a long time — I first wrote about plans for the split in November 2013. Yet despite the passage of years, this week turns out to be excellent timing for the debut of the music stream: Less than two weeks ago, both bands proved their power once again with staggering sets at Maryland Deathfest 2016 (reviewed here), and less than two weeks from now Auroch will undoubtedly do it again in Vancouver as part of the stacked line-up at this year’s Covenant Festival on June 16-18.
People who have seen the bands perform within the last six months have probably heard both of the songs on this split. They’re striking songs, even heard individually and separated in time, but they’re connected.
The two bands worked from a single sheet of lyrics, each of them musically interpreting the words in different ways but with a common conceptual and spiritual essence. Given that the two bands share two members (Shawn Hache and Sebastian Montesi), it’s to be expected that there is a further degree of connection than if they’d been created by wholly different entities.
These two songs are among the best that Auroch and Mitochondrion have created to date — harrowing onslaughts of black-death pandemonium that make a perfect pairing when you’re in the mood for music that will tear you apart and scatter your molecules to the void.
“In Cronian Hour leaden words will be sown and gilded words will be reaped….”
AUROCH: “LEADEN WORDS SOWN”
Auroch’s song is the A-side on the split. For most of its length, it’s furiously fast and technically eye-popping, an assault of pummeling drums, blazing riffs, and deep, heartless roars and inflamed yells. Segments dominated by chaotic, swarming riffs alternate with chiming guitar notes and somersaulting drums. Rapid, jackhammering grooves are surrounded by frenzied guitar leads and deranged soloing.
The last part of the song consists of disturbing, ominous, ambient sounds, as if the listener has been carried along at a dead run straight off the edge of a cliff, leaping into the void for a long, chilling descent into a bottomless abyss.
MITOCHONDRION: “GILDED WORDS REAPED”
Mitochondrion’s track shares with Auroch’s a sense of being plunged into a violent maelstrom of chaos. If anything, it’s perhaps even more savage and bestial, propelled by gut-punching drums and ravenous, insectile guitar work, with the band’s multi-vocalist array of gritty growls, harrowing howls, and piercing shrieks summoning mental images of a demonic horde gone berserk.
The predatory swarm of eerie chords and flashing leads is broken by massive, pounding rhythms, and as the song careens ahead, it builds to an increasingly unearthly and hallucinatory cacophony of sound, punctured with huge, booming drum progressions. It’s an electrifying, and ferocious, experience.
In Cronian Hour was mastered by Colin Marston and features artwork on a gatefold jacket by Cold Poison. Hellthrasher Productions expects to ship it in Europe on or around June 15th. Dark Descent plans to begin shipping from the U.S. on or around June 27. Both companies will sell the 7″ in both black and bone white vinyl, and the ordering links are below (orders from Dark Descent can also be placed via this Bandcamp page):
The band and label web pages are linked below the song streams. Enjoy your time in the cyclone….