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Formed by guitarist Mathieu Marcotte after departing his previous band Spasme, Augury's original lineup featured bassist Dominic "Forest" Lapointe and soprano vocalist Arianne Fleury, with the lineup soon being completed by ex-Kralizec vocalist Patrick Loisel and ex-Adenine drummer Mathieu Groulx. It was this group of people who began to craft the band's original and complex style of ambitious, often medival influenced operatic death metal, known for juxtaposing high female vocals with growls and astonishing, ambitious compositional work. Étienne Gallo would soon replace Mathieu Groulx on drums, and the band released their deubt album Concealed in 2004. After recieving a surprising burst of appeal, the band signed a record deal for Europe and experienced another lineup change as Arianne Fleury departed. Though she has yet to be replaced, several alternating female vocalists have filled in for her during the group's live shows. Their first tour saw them opening for Quo Vadis, read more...
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AUGURY Discography

AUGURY albums / top albums

AUGURY Concealed album cover 4.32 | 19 ratings
Technical Death Metal 2004
AUGURY Fragmentary Evidence album cover 4.35 | 22 ratings
Fragmentary Evidence
Technical Death Metal 2009
AUGURY Illusive Golden Age album cover 4.25 | 9 ratings
Illusive Golden Age
Technical Death Metal 2018

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AUGURY Promo 2006 album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Promo 2006
Technical Death Metal 2006

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AUGURY Reviews

AUGURY Illusive Golden Age

Album · 2018 · Technical Death Metal
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The tech death metal march has been incessant since the floodgates opened with such bands as Gorguts reaching such milestones as 1998’s now classic “Obscura” which paved the way for bands to genetically splice the DNA of death metal and modify it with disparate strains of progressive rock ranging from the vast fields of jazz-fusion to the unearthly vaults of avant-prog. While Tampa may have had its heyday as the spawning ground for the morbid fecundity of old school death metal, the frigid French speaking lands of Quebec have proven to have an equal pull for a new strain of the more abstract realms of technically infused death metal not only beginning with Cryptospy and Gorguts but branching out into the bizarre metal multiverses of Quo Vadis, Martyr, Beyond Creation and most weirdly of all Unexpect, JUST to name a few ;)

Also catching the tech death metal army that rampaged throughout the naughts came the Montreal based AUGURY who successfully awed and bedazzled an increasingly finicky metal audience whose standards had been raised significantly since the 90s. “Concealed” displayed a modern mature form of tech death infusion with elements of jazzy black and folk metal with heavy doses of acoustic spaced out ambience alongside the pacifying effect of Arianne Fleury’s feminine diva charming beauty that tamed the rampaging brutality of the beast. Come 2009, a full five years of perfecting their craft and AUGURY had attained a technical prowess rarely matched in the big boyz club of such technical wizardry. “Fragmentary Evidence” cemented the band as one of tech death’s major players and despite the loss of Fleury managed to wield their jazzified battle axe for an unprecedented second coming.

As the years slithered by with one passage around the sun after another yielding an ever increasing supply of technically gifted musical maestros battening down the hatches and conjuring up their own sonic storms of dissonant din, AUGURY was nowhere to be found and with the exit of half the band, namely bassist Dominic Lapointe and drummer Antoine Baril, it would’ve been a no brainer that AUGURY were a two strike assault team and then down for the count. In the metal universe modernity, nine years seems like a lifetime and as new bands like Ulcerate, Portal, Obscura, Gigan and Gorod gaining tech death god status, every passing year AUGURY was becoming more of a distant memory rather than a glimmering hope of resurrection. Lo and behold and nearly a decade later, not only have the two departed members rejoined this caustic cast but the long anticipated third album has finally arisen from seemingly nowhere.

Despite the nine year gap, ILLUSIVE GOLDEN AGE surprisingly picks up exactly where “Fragmentary Evidence” left off which is both its boon and bane depending on what one’s expectations were set on. The boon is that AUGURY crank out eight incredibly complex distorted and dissonant demons of death metal like they never left the scene. Each member has retained his respective maestrohood prowess with Patrick Loisel’s vocal shapeshifting skills losing none of the intensity heard all the way back in 2004. Likewise Marcotte, Lapointe and Baril haven’t lost their technical chops in the slightest with the production and mixing job completely up to snuff with the highest of AUGURY standards that set the bar so high from the getgo. The bane is that after nearly a decade these guys have lost a lot of their compositional magic making mojo as the majority of the tracks lack those distinguishing features so creatively laid out on the first two albums. Add to the fact that this album seems a little stuck in the 2010 timeline and hasn’t taken into account the modern realities that surround the bubble that it seems to have been created in. Could it be this was indeed created back then and only recently finished?

All that being said, ILLUSIVE GOLDEN AGE still cranks out some mighty fine tech death although at this point in the game feels a little stagnant. Woefully missing are those beautiful non-metal passages that ceded into the blistering brutal chops that allowed the band to craft an inkling of a melody that the musicians could tightrope walk upon throughout a track’s running time. After nine long years it would seem like these guys could’ve upped their game and continued their role as the compass of creativity in a sub-genera that can easily grow stale when the musicians get too much into their heads and sever the sonic thread that binds them to their audience. While it’s hard to give such a decently performed album a bad rating, at the same time the lack of the aforementioned elements only make me want to revisit the first two albums that have that extra magic layer of attraction as intangible as it may seem. While not a complete waste of time ILLUSIVE GOLDEN AGE seems to have missed its target and remains, well… ILLUSIVE.

AUGURY Fragmentary Evidence

Album · 2009 · Technical Death Metal
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As with many perfectionist technically oriented bands, many years can pass between albums and such is the case with Montreal, Quebec based AUGURY that took five trips around the sun before releasing their much anticipated sophomore FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE after taking the tech death metal by storm in 2004 with their lauded debut “Concealed.” In that five year period, amazingly the lineup of musicians remained the same however the band lost one of their most defining features with that being the additional operatic diva charm of Arianne Fleury who graced “Concealed” with a stabilizing contrast to the unbridled aggression of the technical death metal assaults that constituted the majority of the album’s near one hour length.

Despite the loss of Fleury, there are many guest vocalists on FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE that attempt to fill the void although not quite as successfully i may add. As a matter of fact five out of the nine tracks have guest vocalists which include Sven de Caluwé (Aborted, System Divide), Youri Raymond (Cryptosy, Unhuman), Sébastien Croteau (Necrotic Mutation), Filip Ivanovic (Agony), Eric Fiset (Obscene Crisis, Nervous Impulse) and fellow Montreal residents SyriaK and Leilindel from Unexpect. Since the feminine charm of Leilindel is limited to a mere pair of tracks, FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE is a much more testosterone driven maelstrom of frenetic energy without the many pacifying moments that allowed some cooling down periods.

Overall album #2 is a lot more technical in nature with the progressive wankery turned up several notches with lots of jazz-fusion in the works. Many of the opening intros and sudden clean guitar passages display a very fusionistic approach in chord progressions, time signature chops and advanced atonal harmonics. The closing and longest track on the album “Oversee The Rebirth” is perhaps one of the finest moments in technical death metal-jazz fusion i’ve ever heard with some of the swankiest jazzified guitar techniques recorded which extends the variations on the theme for a full satisfying eleven minute stretch. The track also exhibits the cleaner almost James Hatfield type of vocals set in folk metal style that appeared abundantly on “Concealed” but utilized sparingly on FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE.

While more adventurous in tech death metal assaults that pummel and bombast the senses with less downtime for deep breaths, FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE is a tech death metal beast finding the musicians in fine form and more technically developed in the five year period since “Concealed.” The guitar chops remind me a lot of Necrophagist with brutal punishing riffs that implement the occasional neoclassical virtuosic sweep. Also mentionable is the extraordinary bass work of Dominic Lapointe whose finger dancing skills display uncanny mastery of one of the most physically demanding instruments in a metal band, the bass guitar. Likewise for Étienne Gallo’s inhumanly percussive juggling drum abuse. Damn, how many stick were sacrificed to record this?

FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE is a superb followup to “Concealed” in every way but one. Without Fleury’s feminine spell casting charm, the pacifying folk inspired acoustic elements present on “Concealed” are sadly missed on this one and in the process has lost the atmospheric robustness. This album is just simply a much more aggressive beast and while i do not dislike that for a second, it seems that while the debut was perfectly balanced, this one seems like a slightly lower calibre in its wake. However, in its stead there are plenty of technical death metal chops to salivate over with the superb production and mixing allowing for a near perfect modern tech death listening experience. It also seems the more diverse tracks are tacked onto the end and they could’ve been redistributed in a better way but make no doubts about it. FRAGMENTARY EVIDENCE displays exactly what a modern 21st century extreme metal album should sound like and while not perfect delivers many of the goods.

AUGURY Concealed

Album · 2004 · Technical Death Metal
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The Canadian province of Quebec has long been associated with an exotic artistic flair that they inherited from their French connections with some of the nation’s most arty examples of both progressive rock as well as avant-garde metal having emerged within the province’s border. The Montreal based AUGURY is yet one more band to emerge from this fleur-de-lis setting and has been quite the contribution to the more progressive side of technical death metal. A long plan in the making with the blueprint being sown in the 90s, AUGURY finally formed in 2002 after lead guitarist Mathieu Marcotte at last left his band Spasme. The search was then on for the suitable team to carry out the desired agenda of creating a pummeling death metal sensation laced with various styles and nuances of disparate genres.

After the many auditions and plucking from other unknown bands from the local scene, the final lineup ended up with Dominic Lapointe (bassist from Atheretic), Patrick Loisel (vocalist, guitarist), Étienne Gallo (drums) and soprano vocalist Arianne Fleury. The band quickly coalesced a series of new tracks with each members adding their signature elements to the mix. As the death metal band became more adventurous, many new elements of folk, progressive rock and classical were added and after some time in the production and mixing processes emerged the band’s debut album CONCEALED in 2004. The album caught the tech death world by storm and put AUGURY on the map from the start and although a mere bunch of newbies on the scene, came across as well-vetted masters of the scene as if they were some sort of supergroup.

While it’s true that many a death metal band that throws in a few “alternative” passages can qualify as progressive these days, AUGURY is the real deal. “Beatus” starts off with a symphonic acoustic guitar passage with feminine diva soprano vocals slowly entering the scene but after the proper melodic developments are introduced, the band breaks into some serious death metal which is by far the dominant style on CONCEALED with million mile per hour crushing guitar riffs, stylized technical drum frenzies and thoughtful interplay between the bass, guitar and percussion. The band not only focus on tight top notch compositional styles that differentiate each track from the next but find interesting methods of adding softer and acoustic intros and interludes to create an interesting dynamic contrast.

While the album is primarily in-yer-face tech death metal with galloping angular guitar riffs on speed, there are many passages with Enslaved type viking metal that emphasize traditional folk melodies that implement clean vocal techniques and while Fleury’s feminine charm is usually reserved for moments of contrast, on the Celtic folk inspired “The LaIr Of Purity” she takes the reins with a prominent beauty and the beast role as well as the clean male folk vocals. However on “As Sea Devours Land” she gets to unleash her lead vocal charms as she escapes the diva role and is allowed to belt out her full metal charm. The album is well paced with nice little folky acoustic parts that segregate the brutal death metal from more subdued moments. Melody is the emphatic focus which is allowed to expand into neighboring dimensions.

CONCEALED is a really brilliant exercise in progressive leaning technical death metal. It exceeds in the tech department with the excessive guitar wankery behind the scenes including a few neoclassical solo moments as well as dishing out pleasant progressive developments. Likewise the band implement firm control over the ratio of brutality to the sensual counter forces which give AUGURY a much broader spectral resonance than the average death metal band. All in all, the album flows almost flawlessly with only the all acoustic “From Eden Estranged” wearing out its welcome with a rather unnecessary and repetitive strum-athon through the acoustic nothingness. AUGURY is a band where the mastery of the musical elements on board is exquisite and the production is perfectly crystal clear yet abrasively pleasant when the rougher aspects dominate. CONCEALED is a must hear for lovers of aggressive and complex death metal taken to extremes.

AUGURY Illusive Golden Age

Album · 2018 · Technical Death Metal
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It's been a long road for the Canadian technical death metal act Augury to reach their third album, Illusive Golden Age (2018). Band members have come, gone and come back again and nine years have passed them by since the release of Fragmentary Evidence (2009), which itself took five years since their debut album Concealed (2004). The band was formed in 2002 and has never been outright inactive, but three albums in sixteen years isn't the most consistent showing. Augury is forgiven for this of course due to how bloody good those first two albums were. Augury is, as far as this humble reviewer is concerned, the best death metal act to have ever existed. Concealed is the main reason for that belief, but Fragmentary Evidence also goes a long way to strengthen it. Still, making their fans wait almost a whole decade for this follow-up can't have kept them in everyone's good graces. It's been so long that now that the album actually has dropped many may have even forgotten that these guys were in fact still around and who can blame them? But the third Augury album is here now and it's time to find out if it was worth the wait.

Hell. Fucking. Yes. Yes it was.

Illusive Golden Age has the sound of an album that is both familiar if you've heard Augury's earlier work but also with a bit of a different spin on it. The more atmospheric sections of music that they like to use have seen a reduction here compared to Fragmentary Evidence, as have the clean singing vocals from frontman Patrick Loisel, who main sticks to mixing his deep growling and higher pitched screams. His clean voice is still used but don't expect a track like the previous album's Sovereigns Unknown to show up during Illusive Golden Age. After nine years away Augury seem to have made a statement that they're all about the death metal. I'm not sure that anyone ever doubted that about them as they've always had a heavy sound and Loisel's deeper growls have always been brutal as hell, but that's the best description of how this album feels compared to their previous one that I can come up with.

That's not to say that their sound has become lesser by reducing these elements of variation. After all they are still there being used to effect when needed and the level of technical skill on display seems to be higher than ever, if that was even possible, including the audible fretless bass work from Dominic 'Forest' Lapointe. This is so noticeable it's like the bass is being used as the lead instrument. Not to sell what may be some of the best and most intricate technical death metal guitar work ever recorded short here, but fretless bass guitar works so damn well in this genre that it's near impossible not to focus on it as the band's defining feature. Augury and by extension Lapointe's ventures with similar band Beyond Creation have always done this well and it really does feel like he gets to share the centre stage with the two guitarists, Loisel and Mathieu Marcotte. That's very rare for a bass player and for me it's what really makes Augury more than simply technical, but also progressive.

Due to how technical and progressive their music is calling this album straight-forward seems like the start of a bad joke, but the simple fact that matter is that Illusive Golden Age is undeniably a bit less unusual in terms of its song-writing direction, especially if you're comparing it to the often weird Concealed (which for me remains their best album) or the more atmospheric Fragmentary Evidence. I think maybe stripped back would be a more appropriate way to describe it in relation to their previous, but Illusive Golden Age can only be called generic at your own peril. Augury's ability to write coherent and mostly unelongated songs while still being so technical with their riffs should quickly squash any such thoughts you might be having about this release. They did not make their comeback as just another generic tech death act by any means. They've made their comeback with an album that still sounds distinctly like an Augury album that has its own identity from their previous two. I don't know about you readers, but I'll take it.

I haven't mentioned any specific songs from Illusive Golden Age yet and that's because of the eight it's difficult to single out any particular one and then convincingly justify why that one is better. It can't be done. At a total running time of 44:20 Illusive Golden Age is pretty easy to take in during a single listen and let it all in as a singular experience. I will say that Augury made a good choice in Mater Dolorosa as the first song released to promote the album as it is a great one for getting a feel of exactly what to expect from the album. I didn't personally have any doubts that Augury would deliver when they eventually managed to get a third album out, but this song certainly sealed the deal on a CD pre-order from me. Of course there was little doubt that I'd have bought it anyway, but that song was enough to know that I need this in my hands as soon as possible. This is the death metal album to beat in 2018. I have little faith that anyone will come close to what Augury achieved here though. The long wait is forgiven...though try not to leave it another nine years next time lads.

AUGURY Fragmentary Evidence

Album · 2009 · Technical Death Metal
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Augury’s “Fragmentary Evidence” is a very difficult album for me to review. I first picked it up some months ago when I had a bit of extra money for experimenting and Augury appeared on a list of suggested YouTube videos. I listened to a couple of snippets of their music and decided it was a challenge I was willing to take. But now, after several listens as well as individual song plays, I am still not sure what to make of it.

Augury come from Montreal, a hot place for extreme metal, and it’s no surprise to find similarities in their music with that of recent Gorguts. It’s easiest described as complex, technical, brutal, progressive death metal with melodic moments. There are spots where I find myself reminded of uneXpect, also from Montreal, but Augury are not nearly as eclectic in their music mélange. Perhaps another good band to compare Augury to would be Fallujah out of the U.S.

Augury’s music seems to be mainly based upon two simultaneous approaches: the total brutal assault of rhythm guitar and double bass drumming and the more technical and often melodic complement of lead guitar melodies and solos along with some adventurous bass work and percussion. In fact, it was how the bass guitar often stamped its presence in the music that convinced me to try the album in the first place.

The brutal part of the music would run dry pretty soon were it not for the more progressive/technical side. Sometimes I feel it’s like driving down a gravel road at high speed with a steady pummeling, rumble. At another moment, I likened it to listening to music played either live or from a stereo system that is powered by a gasoline generator. You can hear the melody in the music but the steady chugging cough of the generator rumbles on at high speed. The duality of the more technical part alongside the brutal part sometimes makes the music difficult to figure out and may seem like two songs playing at once. The opening of “Skyless” really could seem like two songs playing together, and when an extreme music fan friend of mine heard this song he said it was “stress music” because he feels stress listening to it.

But Augury offer something more interesting throughout the album. There are short surprise bits that show their progressive side such as the opening of “Jupiter Ignite” or the Animals as Leaders-type of playing at the beginning of “Oversee the Rebirth”. If you are familiar with uneXpect, then you might notice the similarity to that band when the female guest vocals come in on “Brimstone Landscapes” or perhaps the beginning of “Simian Cattle” with the pulled bass notes. It is for these occasional pit stops that I keep coming back to the album to try to better understand it.

As for the vocals, you’ll find three basic types: the throat-shredding screamer, the deep, incomprehensible death roar, and a hardcore punk style of vocals that sound like a pirate trying to sing a melody. Especially in “Sovereigns Unknown” there is a vocal melody that is sung very much like a pirate’s ode to the high seas. For my taste, these vocals are the weakest part of the album. At times they’re okay but mostly I get turned off by them. There is also the one guest female vocal part I mentioned above and as well a few whispered lines.

I’d say the most difficult thing about this album is picking out any favourites. No songs give me that excited rush or prickle under the skin. This is not music for feeling good or busting out of your stress bubble. This is complex and at times confusing. It’s almost like that experimental jazz that sounds like random toots, squeaks and honks except that this is more like seemingly unrelated machinegun blasts, exploding buildings, and pirate chanties. Once again though, I do enjoy the challenge of listening to this album and as I have no favourite tracks it’s easy enough to play the whole album through and just go along with the atmosphere.

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666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Close competition from Nile, but here we have my favourite death metal act I think. I need that third album already!


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