The Metal Examiner: Augury’s Concealed

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Augury: ConcealedAugury: Concealed (Sonic Unyon, 3/8/11)

Augury: “Alien Shores”

[audio:|titles=Augury: “Alien Shores”]

Though Quebec-based death-prog band Augury earned rave reviews in the metal press with its 2009 release, Fragmentary Evidence, its 2004 debut, Concealed, went largely unnoticed at the time, save for some devotees on the fringe. A reissue of that disc doesn’t lessen any of its original challenge, but it may well give fans of technical metal something new to cheer about.

Newcomers beware: Concealed is not an easy listen. The individual tracks (“songs” isn’t always the correct term; “sequences” may work better) live and die by their constant shifts, resulting in music that seems as difficult for a listener to follow as it is for the musician to play. Throw in Augury’s steadfast devotion to its tone and sonic aesthetics, and what begins as a promising suite can end up as a stream-of-consciousness barrage of sound. This is technical music that goes beyond technique — beyond mere “math rock” — into its own brand of astrophysical metal.