REEKING AURA “Blood and Bonemeal”
By Dr. Abner Mality
Living alone way out in the country can drive a guy crazy. Just ask Ed Gein. The unhealthy effects of living on a run-down, decaying farm are explored by REEKING AURA on “Blood and Bonemeal”, a concept album of rural horror. The band is composed of scene veterans formerly of ARTIFICIAL BRAIN, GREY SKIES FALLEN, BUCKSHOT FACELIFT and more. So yes, the primary sound is brutal, stripped down death metal.
I would characterize about 85% of the album as sludgy, aggressive down-tuned death metal that is not too original but is delivered with conviction and punishing force. “Remnant of Obstinate Rank” strikes with bludgeoning intent, full of the usual gruesome grumbles and a kind of doomy feeling that permeates even the fastest material. The album is compact and easy to digest, but throws in some curves as REEKING AURA also delve into spooky, atmospheric passages with a dark folk feeling...the remaining 15% of the album. The ending sequences of the title track, “Harvesting the Hatchet” and “The Caretaker” all delve into this kind of sound and it actually works pretty well, mostly because it isn’t allowed to drag on and on. It adds a more subtle shade to the album’s mostly brutal palette.
In a world where murky death metal is flooding the market, it’s difficult to put REEKING AURA on a high pedestal, but “Blood and Bonemeal” worked for me. An effective little horror tale here…