Genre: Electronic Rock
Release Date: 15th May 2020
Label: Dark Tunes Music Group
A relative newcomer, founded in 2017 with three albums behind them, this being the most recent. A hardworking band - they have toured with CRUXSHADOWS, GOTHMINISTER, LORD OF THE LOST, STONEMAN, SOLAR FAKE, SULPHER, and MASSIVE EGO and appeared at some large European festivals such as W-Fest. No stranger to the Top Five in DAC, their last single ‘Insurgence’ keeping several huge names from the top spot. AUGER describe their unique sound as “dynamic darkwave”, being a hyper melodic amalgam of Dark Rock, Industrial, Goth, Electro and Metal.
The theme of the album is the uprising after the apocalypse. It’s a hugely anthemic project, only too worthy of a thorough walk-through of its contents. The first track, aptly called ‘Welcome’ introduces the listener by means of an “end of world” announcement from a seemingly other worldly entity. Only seconds long it sweeps along into a whirlwind, with a distinct EBM feel, eventually seamlessly leading into the number one single ‘Insurgence’. This cracking track deserved its chart success, catchy synths with some great guttural guitar work - think ZEROMANCER and you’ll not be far off.
Track three, ‘Nothing Left’, is pivotal to the theme of the album, its whole purpose is to walk you through the world after the apocalypse, to give you a mental picture of how the band are imagining the bleakness. It has a slightly different feel to the usual AUGER approach, almost old school - dare I say a little like how THE CURE would tackle a song - one of my favourites on the album. ‘I am nothing’ blasts you back into more familiar AUGER territory, Industrial guitars clash with driving synths - another classic live AUGER track in the waiting. Track five ‘November Engel’ brings yet more opportunity for Kyle to show off his German speaking abilities after his attempts on ‘Insurgence’ - a very dancey EBM led song.
Onto one of the many highlights of this album, ‘Hit the Lights’. It’s no secret I’m a huge GARY NUMAN fan, and this song wears its song structures on its sleeve. It screams modern day NUMAN, think of albums such as ‘Pure’, ‘Splinter’ or ‘Savage’ to give you an insight - and in the spirit of a written description; mix in a little EVANESCENSE and you’ll have an inkling. I suspect this will be one of my favourites as the album grows with me - I’m so looking forward to the days of live gigs again after COVID-19 to hear this track live! ‘Letters to You’ is an interlude to the proceedings and tells the touching story of two lovers who have become lost from each other during the apocalypse.
It’s an altogether softer, more intimate feel, with an atmospheric echo to Kyles vocals. If you hanker after a DEPECHE MODE moment, in your end of the world listening experience, they guys have catered for you admirably. Reminiscent of DM’s ‘Violator’ days, ‘My Death’ is also the second single from the album, currently also doing well in DAC too. It tells of lost hope, of being overwhelmed by feelings - so fitting to this album’s tale, but also perfectly fitting into the feelings we all seem to be currently experiencing during the worldwide pandemic - powerful stuff.
AUGER is obviously not fearful of pushing boundaries with this album, ‘I found Room’ brings us a slower, but powerful, Gothic waltz. The leadup to the powerful explosive chorus is nothing short of awe inspiring - some very impressive writing; and I love the keyboard sounds. Track ten, ‘Who can help me now?’, is an easy to relate to track, the song tells of inner conflict with the age-old familiar issue (to many of us) of no-one around to help and understand. Musically it has some interesting arrangements, and of course a heavy injection of the more traditional heavy AUGER guitar and dance driven synths.
As we near the end of the album the immense quality continues, ‘You are by Nature’ - it’s a great shame to always compare to other artists, but the temptation is too great when such young talent can be compared to great names - I’m pretty sure this track would stand proud in the MUSE back catalogue. It tells of thoughts by the rebellion of what they will do to the leaders of the new world once the insurgence is successful. Track twelve is something rather special, a guest female vocalist is introduced, the very talented thirteen-year-old Imogen Evans.
‘Tell me I’m wrong’ brings contrasts between the two vocals, something rather unique to the AUGER soundscape. As we near the album’s final powerhouse track (a future anthem) we find ourselves in the powerful and emotional last few minutes of a loved one’s life, the shared private few words before the final goodbye - ‘Moments too soon’ is an emotional masterpiece. The triumphant last tale from ‘Insurgence’ is the huge catchy anthemic track ‘We are Auger’, the insurgents have overcome, they have won. A huge slab of sound, this is going to be a hugely popular live track!
I’ve enjoyed all of AUGER’s albums, but this one has somehow already worked its way into a higher place within my album playlist. Would a fitting description be a masterpiece? Yes, I think so - and for sure they have set the bar ridiculously high for the follow up.
03. Nothing Left
04. I am nothing
05. November Engel
06. Hit The Lights
07. Letters To You (interlude)
08. My Death
09. I Found Room (waltz)
10. Who Can Help Me Now?
11. You Are By Nature
12. Tell Me I'm Wrong (ft. Imogen Evans)
13. Moments Too Soon (interlude)
14. We Are Auger!
Kyle J Wilson - Producer, Vocals, Programmed By, Songwriter
Kieran Thornton - Songwriter, Guitar
www.auger.band / www.facebook.com/augeruk
Total: 9 / 10