Blood and Bonemeal contains 34 minutes of gruesome death metal brought to us by current and ex-members of Afterbirth, Artificial Brain, Buckshot Facelift, Coma Cluster Void, Grey Skies Fallen, and Unearthly Trance. In other words, Reeking Aura bring a lot of experience to the table.
Reeking Aura play old-school death metal with a hefty doom influence. Their brand of death/doom is meaty and satisfying, and is riven with arterial melody and macabre atmosphere.
There are three guitarists on Blood and Bonemeal, resulting in a whole cavalcade of twisted rhythms, lacerating riffs, screaming solos, and scarring leads. The songs are written to take advantage of this, and whether it’s underpinning rhythms, key riffs, attention-grabbing melodies, or captivating solos, the band make good use of the extra guitar.
Sinister moods are never too far away from proceedings. Due to the use of multiple guitarists all of the material on Blood and Bonemeal is detailed and nuanced. The band’s assortment of musical components is compelling, and I like that they have incorporated atmospheric elements directly into their sound in different ways. Although dark atmospheres are embedded in much of the death and doom, there are also smaller sections that are given over to pure atmospheric texture.
The songs each deliver the goods in no uncertain terms. The music is commanding, potent, involving, and infectious. Whilst a good amount of technical skill has clearly gone into Blood and Bonemeal, the results are visceral, emotive, and impactful all the way. And absolutely crushing, of course.
Reeking Aura offer a tapestry of finely wrought death metal on their debut album. Blood and Bonemeal is as impressive as it is satisfying, rewarding, and enjoyable. If you’re a fan of old-school death metal then this is definitely for you.
Very highly recommended.