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Beyond Creation: The Aura

Immaculate savagery from Montreal newcomers

Advances in technology have ensured that a great number of modern death metal bands seem more interested in adhering to a rigid blueprint than in thoughts of originality or invention. But while Beyond Creation have plainly embraced the state-of-the-art sonic aesthetic that often threatens to erase all personality from otherwise skilful bands, The Aura represents a triumph for technical prowess, songwriting suss and passion.

Proudly progressive but startlingly brutal, these Canadians have assembled a debut album that will delight fans of Origin, Abysmal Dawn and Obscura while stamping their own identity onto proceedings.

Masters of both the epic sprawl – the seven-minute Coexistence screams past in what seems like half that time – and the short, sharp ambush (see the dizzying flash fire of Le Détenteur), they demonstrate an understanding of what makes death metal such powerful music while never hesitating to throw in a jarring detour or burst of exquisite soloing along the way. Debuts seldom hit the target with such verve.