Captain’s Log, Stardate 47634.44: “A peculiar entity has emerged from the heart of a dying star in a nearby cluster of planets. The crew has aptly named this enigmatic monolith Aglo. It has taken on the form of down-tuned guitars, slow hooks, and death metal sensibilities, infecting all who come into contact with its ravenous power.”
Aglo – Build Fear (Brilliant Emperor Records)
Release: 10 November 2023
Words: Jools Green
It does not get more exciting than the merging of Heavy Metal with Star Trek. That’s pretty much where Australian Death/Doom project Aglo, masterminded by Aaron Osborne (IEXIST, Mental Cavity, Extortion) covering vocals, guitars and bass, sources his lyrical inspiration.
I am immediately won over. Session drums are courtesy of Colin Young (Twitching Tongues, Gods Hate, DeadBody) delivering the pounding drum rhythms
As a musical unit, they haven’t been around that long. But they’ve already released two EPs, Collector in February 2022 and Into The Maze in February 2023. They devastate the cosmos with their crushing full-length Build Fear.
But you’ll find no warp-speed pace tearing at the fragment of space. This seven-track, thirty-six-minute crushing offering is cruising menacingly and powerfully with Borg-like intent on just their manoeuvring thrusters.
A Hefty Brute
It’s a hefty brute of an album. Last Rites opens with powerful pounding drum rhythms, further grabbing your attention. These drop in some tasty patterns, one of the joys, for me, of a slower-paced sound. Alongside fuzzy riffing and cavernous vocals, the pace is slow and steady but unstoppable. A slow, head-nodding groove that makes it such an engaging listen.
Storm Of Fears winds the pace down even slower. The riffs are drawn out. It’s almost menacing. It does pick up some pace as it progresses, developing a superbly haunting melody.
Regression is an absolute chugging beast. But the riffs also take an engagingly meandering route. It’s a raw, but groovy, listen. Midway, you get expressive cavernous roars and a brief pause, before the plodding journey continues.
Crushing Yet Haunting
Regression moves seamlessly into Relativity Undone, a superbly phrased piece with a great repeat. It’s punchy yet reflective, crushing yet haunting, and just after midway the pace really picks up for a moment. Again, across the track, there is more superbly strong, engaging drum work.
Shame As A Weapon is a gorgeous beast of a track. Starting eerily with restraint, the sound builds in crunchy, chunky layers always moving at a very slow and ominous pace. The low, cavernous vocals echo through the eerie repeat riffs and in between flamboyant bursts of drum work.
Warhead has such an engaging bounce and chug as it plods along. It develops a groovy quality as it progresses, with a punch in the second half. Warhead is a superb piece, subtly complex and utterly engaging.
A version of the final track, Into The Maze, appeared on the EP of the same title back in February. I can see why it’s been included here. Beginning with a haunting atmosphere, the piece plods along bleakly, creating a superb experience. A minute in, it changes direction into something fuzzier and far more complex. Again, it’s hugely engaging. The direction meanders around, switching between a haunting, fuzzy melodic element and a more chugging groove in a way that holds your attention and a bit of a drum solo is unleashed in the second half.
A Threat To Lives
Build Fear will be available as a digital offering from Build Fear | AGLO (bandcamp.com) or vinyl from the label. The band warn, “Although the crew remains relatively calm and entranced by the sounds emanating from Aglo, fans of musical stylings similar to the likes of Crowbar, Incantation, Eyehategod, and Morbid Angel should approach with caution as their obsession could potentially pose a threat to their lives.
“Finally, this log entry should serve as a warning to all who encounter this beast. Prepare yourselves, as the drive to worship at the altar of The Almighty Riff is strong, and resistance may prove futile.”
They make a valid point. I think I’ve just been assimilated.
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