I’m fortunate enough to review the Auras debut before it’s official release. Ohhhh yeeeaaah. Hailing from Ontario, Auras are a Progressive Metal / “Djent” group with a ton of talent and potential. This band has been playing their cards right over the past couple years, releasing amazing singles, and building up a good size fan base leading up to this – The official release of “Panacea”, the Auras debut EP, this coming Saturday. Will this rising Canadian beast stand up or fall down? Keep on reading and find out.

 After listening to “Panacea” all week, it’s safe to say Auras are standing tall. This is one helluva release. If you’re looking to groove, look no further. Packing in everything from extreme technicality and heaviness to beautifully composed melody and ambiance, this EP is the total package balled up into 23 minutes of metal, mosh-worthy goodness. Every member of this group brings a next level performance on “Panacea”. They excel from Aaron Hallman and Josh Ligaya’s tight guitar work to Eric Almeida’s beastly vocal skills. And I have to say Nathan Bulla stands out as an absolute TANK behind the kit. Altogether, they make a phenomenal musical unit. Record labels will probably be scrambling to sign these guys after this EP drops.

Onto the content. Every track on “Panacea” has something awesome happening for your brains to feast on. “Emerge” kicks things off with underlying ambiance before smashing your ear drums with a heavy edge. Clocking in at just under a minute, it serves as a strong intro. “Sciolist” is the first full track on the release. It was dropped a couple weeks back as the first official, fully-produced single from “Panacea”. This track features some massive rhythmic segments and a big vocal cameo from The Afterimage’s Kyle Anderson. Great stuff. “Aporia” packs one of the nastiest punches on the entire release. It also demonstrates this bands ability to transition seamlessly from extreme heaviness to melodic beauty about halfway through with a tasty segment and a stand out guitar solo provided by Aaron Marshall from Intervals. “Chimerical” is easily one of the best tracks on the EP. A single version was released exactly a year ago. There have been a few changes since then but it still stands as an awe-inspiring track with my favorite groove of 2013 so far. “Susurrus” is a great interlude, providing well composed, clean guitar work and a driving groove on the drums. It transitions nicely into “Cascade” which was also released as a single back in 2011. Yet again, there have been changes but it shines bright as ever. It includes possibly the tastiest section on “Panacea” in between it’s ruthless rhythmic complexity. And that leads us to the title track closing out the EP. “Panacea” is among the heaviest, most mosh-worthy tracks on the release. It also weaves in excellent melodic composition, especially towards the end. All in all, it closes out things nicely.

 My criticisms are few and far between. Being a “djent” influenced band, Auras have the tendency to fall into a few stereotypes which come with that label. This means they don’t always always come off as original. Objectively, this may not thrill some of you. But for the most part, Auras does a good job of making their own sound within that niche. I would say they are easily in the upper echelon of bands going for a similar, djenty sound. Also, “Panacea” leaves you wanting more, but that’s really a good thing. Gives the listener more to look forward to.

To sum things up, the Auras debut is a solid effort. Great for grooving and moshing alike, this is highly recommended to prog heads, tech heads, and metal heads in general. I have a feeling these guys are just scratching the surface of their full musical potential. Auras have a very bright future ahead of them. In the mean time, sample “Sciolist” along with the official EP teaser above and get stoked for Saturday! The band also has some awesome pre-orders on deck. If you’re interested in grabbing one, click here.

Links: Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp // Pre-Orders