Audrey Horne

Audrey Horne

Written by: AP on 02/01/2011 13:00:35

Sometimes members of extreme metal bands grow tired of looking severe, shredding their strings apart with tremolo and singing odes to Satan. Looking for another outlet for their talent, these escapists often wind up in super groups with other, similar minded people, and it goes without saying that thanks to their diverse backgrounds, all somehow associated with an extreme of metal, they ain't gonna be playing disco pop. It must still be heavy, but with an element of accessibility. This is what hard rock offers. Audrey Horne from Norway, featuring members of Enslaved, Sahg and Deride, is one such band; a synth-backed dark rock band in the vein of A Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains and, unsurprisingly, Sahg.

This self-titled album is the band's third full-length album; the second after the departure of bassist Tom Cato Visnes of Gorgoroth fame. With one less metal man in the band, Audrey Horne's sound has gradually evolved beyond the reach of its metallic roots, toward a sound that would likely please the scrutinizing playlist makers at radio stations. "Blaze of Ashes", for instance, is a palatable post-Ozzy piece with a chorus to remember, while "Pitch Black Mourning" and "Firehose" stack the Tool influences high in mysterious sonic trips and more choral memorabilia. And when the tempo is driven up for a song like "Bridges and Anchors", Audrey Horne sound like Finger Eleven in their early years, had the late Layne Staley opted to lend his legendary vocal prowess for it. Even the two ballads - "Sail Away" and "Godspeed" - which are designed to attract your dinner date's head toward your shoulder in a subtle act of seduction, are successful, if only because vocalist Torkjell Rød's chilling baritone strokes the soul.

But the most remarkable thing about Audrey Horne is their sense of subtlety. With the synths, the music has the potential to become pompous, but the songs here have more refrains than grandeur, relying on simple but effective composition with the occasional mammoth crescendo to release tension. As such, ending the album on a quiet note with the Beatlesque "Godspeed" makes it come full circle, sounding conclusive and complete. Curious how what is essentially a side project has the capacity to shame most contemporary radio rock bands - but if my praising words have failed to convince you, listen to any of the recommended tracks for reassurance.


Download: Blaze of Ashes, Bridges and Anchors, Pitch Black Mourning, Darkdrive
For the fans of: A Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, Sahg
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.03.2010
Indie Recordings

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