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CD review: SON OF AURELIUS, The Farthest Reaches

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By Ben ApatoffCD review: SON OF AURELIUS, The Farthest Reaches

SON OF AURELIUS' label debut, The Farthest Reaches, is already one of the most gushed-about death metal records of the year. The California quintet is reaping in comparisons to THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER for their jaw-dropping musicianship and Swedish death metal influence, and Hot Topic has already caught on enough to stock The Farthest Reaches. But cleared of all hype, Son of Aurelius have made a strong mark on the American metal scene that, if not putting them in a league with ARSIS or THE FACELESS, captures them on their way there.

At first listen, much of the drums and rhythm guitar progressions whir themselves into a frenzy, but after a few spins the songs really materialize. "Mercy for Today" and the title track ties a few strong riffs into some intriguing tech-metal exercise, and "A Champion Reborn" has a relatively simple groove that accentuates the band's grasp on a good melody. Over all, there's much to enjoy about the The Farthest Reaches, but not enough that sticks. The band hasn't found a voice to match their consistently impressive playing, and too much of The Farthest Reaches is the kind of good-but-not-great metal that always satisfies but never enthralls. Still, Son of Aurelius are a promising band with some good songs, and hopefully over the next few years they can do for Greek and Roman mythology what NILE does for Egypt.

Rating: 3 Joaquin Phoenix characters out of 5

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