By Rich Hobson
It doesn’t matter how many times you hear about metal being a global phenomenon, there’s something inherently fascinating about finding bands from some of the most far-flung, unique places on earth. Doubly so when that place happens to be Tel Aviv, and the band pioneer some of the fiercest black metal this side of Darkthrone. Meet Dim Aura, the Israel-based black metal band who first emerged in 2010 but are just now making their first major moves on the international metal stage with the release of their second full-length, ‘The Triumphant Age of Death’.
If the title ain’t a dead giveaway, Dim Aura aren’t fucking around; this is second-wave style black metal at its finest, complete with imperious guitar tones, arctic blast-beats and shrieks that could strip the paint off walls. Honed to perfection, the record comes across as a masterclass in just what black metal is all about, evoking a sense of enormity that can only come from a true love of the genre and understanding of its tropes.
Don’t be mistaken though; seeped as it is in BM iconography, Dim Aura aren’t just mindlessly replicating the past, they are championing it in their own way. Never sounding unsure about what they do, the band come across as impossibly confident and commanding, particularly when the blast-beats die away and the band lock into grinding, rhythmic grooves. Stick on ‘Black Heretic Hate’ and you’ve got a prime example of how dark and nasty this band can go, particularly when it all locks in to provide some of the freshest, foulest BM energy around.
Rooted more in misanthropy and occultism than the traditional satanic theatrics, Dim Aura are nonetheless a band of cinematic quality, their record sizzling with furious energy throughout. The end result is bewitching; each track feels like it could soundtrack an enormous battle between good and evil – listening to the rampaging final part of ‘Death, Total Death’ evokes an image of tanks rolling over human skulls ‘Terminator’-style, and the record never strays away from that sense of viciousness. Even the record’s ‘softest’ moment drips in venomous anticipation, the short instrumental ‘Antinomianism’ heavy on reverb to set the tone for the immediate explosion of the title track.
As before, the true excellence of Dim Aura comes out whenever the band settle into a groove within a track, finding ways to create inherently addictive rhythms that are nonetheless more furious than a freshly-castrated Cujo. Each is a massive counterpoint to the tried-and-true blasts and shrieks of traditional black metal, taking these elements and giving them a counterweight which serves to turn each song into a riotous flint, sure to set venues ablaze with frenzied headbanging and moshing.
With ‘The Triumphant Age of Death’ you can more or less tell whether you’ll love this record within the expanse of the first song. After all, the band never truly deviate from the formula they set out early on, but then… why would they? What they have is a potent strain of second-wave black metal being honed to absolute excellence, the whole record a roaring testament to what can be achieved within the style given enough passion and steadfast determination. If you find yourself in the throngs of a kvlt-fixation, decidedly turned off by the increasing evolution of black metal past its primordial roots, then Dim Aura are the band for you.
- ‘The Triumphant Age of Death’ is released next Friday (22 March). You can get your copy HERE.
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