AULD: …Of Petrichor And I
Release year: 2021
Label: Eschatonic Records
Well, I just had to make that joke, didn’t I? And I bet you this isn’t the first time someone’s made it about this Australian quartet. But pick a name like that and you’re just setting yourself up, right?
Luckily, Auld from Australia are not some kind of worn-out New Year’s chestnut. No, they’re a foursome who’ve chosen an atmospheric brand of black metal as their weapon, and this is their debut EP.
The cover image points you in the right direction: don’t expect anything necro or wintry or evil from this. No, …Of Petrichor And I is filled with rolling banks of fog, barren majestic landscapes and desolate wilderness, and imagery of the Scottish highlands they evoke in their name, song titles and lyrics.
I would be surprised if the trio haven’t spent copious amounts of time listening to the likes of Primordial and Agalloch. There’s certainly more than passing nods to their direction, towards the majestic, archaic and romantically melancholic visions of lost ages and times these acts paint. Particularly Primordial seems to be a point of reference that is recurring on the album, although to Auld’s credit, theirs is by no means a slavish regurgitation of whatever the Irish stalwarts have done before.
On …Of Petrichor And I, Auld present a sound that is mature and balanced. Lacing their atmospheric black metal with the occasional nod to both post-black metal elements and more traditional, rawer black metal, there’s enough of variation on this EP. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Auld have a very original sound – it was way too easy to namedrop the two acts I did earlier for that – but they’ve got their own twist on a familiar sound. And that’s not a bad place to start from.
As far as debut releases go, …Of Petrichor And I is a promising showcase of solid songwriting, a knack for atmosphere (those flutes in the title track certainly set the mood!) and an execution that carries through.
Definitely a nice little 20-minute musical journey to majestic, mythical landscapes.