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AURORA BOREALIS - Worldshapers
Título: Worldshapers
CAT. #: XM 142 CD
Formato: CD [44:10]
Estilo: Death/Black
Edición: 03.2014
01. In the Beginning
02. God Like Redemption
03. World Shapers
04. Induced Mutation
05. The Oldest of Dilemmas
06. Watchers From Above
07. This is the Way They Choose to Die
08. A Subtle Way to Eradicate Them
09. Silent War
10. And to the Stars Returned
Auténticamente impresionante 6º álbum de esta legendaria y pionera banda americana de Death/Black Metal. 10 temas de un brutal, rápido y técnico a la vez que melódico Death Metal con el adecuado toque de Black Metal. Para amantes de grupos como los primeros HATE ETERNAL, ANGEL CORPSE, IMMORTAL, CARCASS, NILE, EMPEROR…
Metalhead.it (ita) 11.06.2014
Tornano i blackned deathsters americani. Arrivano al sesto album (senza contare EP e split) e si confermano poderosi, furiosi, letali. Con un vocalist che si esibisce in un perfetto growl, sono in un certo senso simili ad un crossover tra Carcass, Kreator, Morbid Angel e Suffication, garantendo quindi una letale dose di violenza, di devastazione, di olocausto, ma anche di tecnica e complessità esecutiva. Ottimo il lavoro di Ron Vento, che si occupa egregiamente di tastiere, chitarre e voce, oltre che curare la composizione di un disco che cattura, coinvolge e cancella qualsiasi concetto che possa far risalire ad idee di calma e relax. Dopo il validissimo intro, “God Like Redemption” non risparmia, non rilassa, ma crea devastazione. Il drumming è ricco di tecnica, e la velocità dei riff è identificativa dell’efficenza sonora della band. La title track che segue, si allinea alla precedente, offrendo però stacchi più cadenzati e delle teorie melodiche diverse, anche se ben radicate su riff death metal di scuola Death. Stupenda “Inducted Mutilation”, con la giusta tecnica, i riff perfetti e pure un tocco di inquietante tastiera. Opprimente e travolgente “Watchers From Above”, con quel ritornello ripetuto, crea preoccupazione, ansia, terrore. “This is the Way They Choose to Die” non fa prigionieri, mentre sono godibilissimi i veloci assoli presenti nel disco, in particolare quello di “Silent War”. La conclusiva “And to the Stars Returned” vanta riff memorabili, tempi che rallentano ed improvvisamente diventano assurdamente veloci, con un più una sessione ritmica capace provocare uno tsunami. Gradito ritorno, veramente benvenuto ed atteso. Dopo tre anni dal precedente “Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything” era necessario scrivere un altro disco. E gli Aurora Borealis, non solo l’hanno fatto, ma lo hanno fatto con stile, esperienza e gusto per sonorità perverse.
Luca Zakk [7/10]
Zombie Ritual Fanzine (mex) 09.05.2014
I remember this band in several tribute albums in 90’s, and I think I bought an EP or something in the past, but it didn’t have significant relevance for me at that time. Of course I can’t say that I’m familiar with the band since I can’t remember what’s about, but these guys closed my mouth with a punch in my face.

This is a very interesting death metal album full of complex guitar riffs, multiple sections and black atmospheres throughout the whole plate. If I don’t mistake, Ron Vento is the warrior who is the mastermind of the band, and definitely has a good taste of death/black metal as is compositions are musically disrupting and balanced into darkness and sci-fi themes. It’s true that for moments it recalls me a lot complexity of early Morbid Angel, but the roots are strong and this guy made ominous guitar lines into destructive and corrosive drum attack. All elements create efficiently sonic miasma and disturbing lines, complemented with incisive vocals ala Jeff Walker. A pretty good album I’d say. This is not bad at all for a band that has kept a discreet career for over 17 years now.
Victor Varas
Metaltalk.net (uk) 07.05.2014
Aurora Borealis, one of the US's most underrated Metal bands, have been making waves in the underground for two decades and 'World Shapers' is their sixth full length release, yet these Metal pioneers are known only to the chosen few.

This is largely to do with the fact that the previous five full length albums, from this trio from Maryland, were self released on their own label, Nightsky Productions.

Musically Aurora Borealis play an interesting blend of black and death Metal that's intense and hard-hitting, with tracks that are varied and catchy, as well as modestly technical, just enough to add interest without being flashy and they are also highly intricate in their style of composition. The superb vocals add a lot to an already well filled product, vitriolic, gravelly and blackened with a bit of a thrash edge.

Lyrically 'World Shapers' follows the same inspiration as their previous releases, that of space, the cosmos, mythology, ancient culture and time, something that sets them apart from the more brutally lyrical bands of the same genre, but that in no way means their material is any less brutal from an overall sound perspective.

It's worth giving the lyrics a closer examination as the story behind this ten track offering is a sci-fi infused concept about the demise of human race as it currently stands and the recreation of human like forms by the gathering of genetic material by a misanthropic race of aliens that manipulate it to create mutant subspecies, engineered to serve as worker slaves, created to terra-form across the galaxy, but they rebel causing the alien race to eradicate them mercilessly, however, there is so much more to it than that and to find out, you must listen and read.

Although I enjoyed the whole album, two tracks really stood out for me, the title track 'World Shapers' with its punchy riffs, fast pace and catchy chorus that you will be singing along to by the second listen. The other was 'The Oldest of Dilemmas', which has a touch of the technical along with some catchy, discordant guitars that work brilliantly and are guaranteed to impress.

As the first release for 'Aurora Borealis' on a global label that has also handled the likes of Paganizer, Hour of Penance, Exmortis and Visceral Damage, hopefully it will help to get 'World Shapers' from this longstanding and greatly underrated band, the notice and success they deserve.
Jools Green [4.5/5]
Soil Chronicles Webzine (fra) 05.05.2014
Une pochette superbe, des premières notes qui plongent l’auditeur dans une ambiance spatiale puis un déboulé tonitruant de riffs puissants, « God Like Redemption » laisse à penser que World Shapers est un disque plus que prometteur. On se rend vite compte que le trio a densifié son propos : la musique est plus rapide, plus compacte, plus efficace avec en supplément un chant davantage affirmé qui accentue l’aspect Black Métal d’Aurora Borealis, bref, ce premier morceau est fort séduisant d’autant que la formation intègre désormais des bruitages du meilleur effet qui confère enfin une réelle identité à sa musique.

Maintenant, la question est toujours la même : cette première très bonne impression est-elle confirmée tout au long de l’album ? À ma grande surprise : oui. Même si l’ensemble reste classique, j’avoue être séduit par le renforcement des parties techniques et l’accélération générale du tempo qui contribuent à donner une bonne dynamique aux compositions. Les dix titres sont donc parfaitement homogènes, sans temps morts, ce qui fait de World Shapers un album largement supérieur à ses prédécesseurs mais également capable de rivaliser avec les meilleures sorties actuelles. Alors que je n’attendais rien, je me surprends à savourer « The Oldest Of Dilemmas », un titre vif, rythmé et entraînant, à l’image de l’album.

Aurora Borealis vient enfin de sortir un disque à la hauteur de sa réputation.
Arno [7/10]
Metal Temple Webzine (gre) 29.04.2014
“World Shapers” is worth a good listen if you are already familiar with these Death Metal legends from Maryland. Ron Vento has gotten the band together to release this otherworldly album called “World Shapers”.

This is the kind of Sci-Fi infused Death Metal you’re probably used to by now. ”World Shapers” has a really elaborately constructed set of lyrics and concepts gone over in this album. Essentially (spoiler alert…?) its about a demonic race of aliens that play around with genetic material as if it were Play-Dough to create mutant subspecies that they engineer as slaves to build worlds all across the network of galaxies in the universe. But then this new race of Genetic Mutants rebel and revel in their own primitive indulgences which leads to this alien race to eradicate them mercilessly. Cool!

However, if you didn’t read the lyrics, none of this stuff is relevant to music, however that storyline may appeal to you. I was kind of expecting this album to cater to other Metal music that likes to delve into Science Fiction themes which in turn morphs the genre into more melodic and progressive realms. This album does nothing of the sort. There’s no 8 string slams or technical finger tapping guitar wanks or clean vocal passages. AURORA BOREALIS loves Death Metal too much to incorporate any of these styles into their songwriting. Don’t worry, Death Metal purists, your genre has been preserved!

What you should expect to hear are a lot of heavy and ear-splitting drum rhythms layered under Blackened Metal shredding. Not too many flashy solos and the ones included aren’t much to mention. The vocals are nasty and vicious screams that I could see fit in with any Grindcore band and fit perfectly with the music. I think since this band has been pumping out Death Metal since the early nineties, they have definitely nailed down the perfect production tone for this album.

Overall, the album isn’t bad at all and when you observe the talent and work put into this album, its hard no to be supremely impressed by what everybody has done with “World Shapers”. But this album doesn’t really make itself memorable for me. There are a couple of great songs on here like “Induced Mutation” and “This Is The Way They Choose To Die” but nothing else really sticks out. I cannot give this album a fully motivated recommendation but perhaps older fans of Aurora Borealis will find this more memorable than I did.
H.P. Buttcraft [7/10]
Lords of Metal Webzine (hol) 23.04.2014
Het is alweer enige tijd geleden dat we bij Lords Of Metal iets over het Amerikaanse Aurora Borealis schreven, namelijk ten tijde van 'Northern Lights' (2000) en 'Time, Unveiled' (2002). Meer dan een decennium geleden dus, indertijd hun tweede en derde plaat. De band zelf bestaat alweer twee decennia, nadat Ron Vento de band in 1994 oprichtte. Met 'Worldshapers' zijn de sympathieke Amerikanen toe aan hun zesde langspeler, tevens hun debuut bij het (eveneens sympathieke) Spaanse label Xtreem Music van scene-veteraan Dave Rotten. Laten we hopen dat de mannen met deze plaat meer aandacht weten te genereren dan met de meeste voorgangers, want dat verdient de band.

Thematisch is het drietal hun roots trouw gebleven. De band, vernoemd naar het Noorderlicht, zit qua onderwerpen nog steeds in de Erich van Daniken" hoek, op het snijvlak waar ruimtereizen en stokoude culturen en mythen elkaar ontmoeten. Geheel in die lijn dus ook de ten hemelen stijgende piramides op de cover, die doen denken aan Stargate (de film, niet die tamme serie met MacGyver), toevalligerwijs net als de band uit het topjaar 1994. En zo is de ring van Saturnus rond. Qua verhaallijn is deze plaat trouwens een opvolger van conceptplaat 'Timeline' uit 2011. Het is maar dat u het weet. Tekstueel lijkt er in elk geval, net als over de muziek, goed te zijn nagedacht en zijn er - net als in de muziek - meerdere lagen te ontdekken, voor wie daar van houdt. Muzikaal hebben de heren als je het mij vraagt al twintig jaar een traag maar gestaag stijgende lijn te pakken. Hun stijl wordt geadverteerd als blackened death, maar de black metal invloeden zitten voornamelijk in de zang. De band klinkt enigszins als een kruising tussen het rauwe van met name Angelcorpse, het agressief pakkende van Dissection en de structuren en oog voor detail van Carcass, maar dan met een veel meer naar het betere blastwerk van Suffocation neigend fundament. In de meer dreigende, slepende nummers (althans, voor er weer naar standje blast wordt geschakeld) bespeur ik ook wel wat Hypocrisy. Voor elk wat wils dus.

Het zijn na een paar luisterbeurten echter vooral de dynamische, ijzersterke song structuren die de show stelen en het blastgeweld in goede banen leiden, want vergis je alsjeblieft niet, ondanks de genoemde invloeden, is 'Worldshapers' eerst en vooral strak uitgevoerde en blast georienteerde Americano death. De raspende, grauwende vocalen van Ron Vento passen wat mij betreft prima bij deze doorgaans rappe death en zijn wellicht de brug naar het blackened gedeelte van de zelfbenoemde genretypering. De bij tijd en wijle direct pakkende en dan weer eigenwijze zanglijnen zijn een pluspunt, maar een diepe grunt of Nodtveidt-achtige scream als aanvulling, of de toevoeging van een tweede strot zou de vocale variatie overigens wel zeer veel goed doen. Het solowerk is niet extreem, maar voegt in elk geval wat toe en is van prima, gedegen niveau. Er zou van mij best nog wat meer de sci-fi troef gespeeld mogen worden, a la Nocturnus, maar ik heb het idee dat de band dat bewust beperkt.

Kort en goed: prima, nee, uitstekende death plaat van het rappe en toch pakkende en verrassend gelaagde soort. Ondanks de sterke songstructuren is de plaat met drie kwartier speelduur voor mijn gevoel net wat aan de lange kant, maar dat valt in de categorie kniesoor. Aanradertje dus!

Oh,en over sympathieke band gesproken: met uitzondering van het hagelnieuwe 'Worldshapers' is de volledige discografie van de band gratis (of tegen een zelf gekozen vergoeding) te downloaden op hun website. Als je de muziek van Aurora Borealis dus tof vindt: doe het enige juiste, download de backcatalogue, maar koop deze nieuwe plaat! (en wie liever het echte, tastbare werk in huis haalt: ook de backcatalogue is grotendeels nog verkrijgbaar op CD, rechtstreeks bij de band!)
Sicktus [85/100]
iyezine.com (ita) 09.04.2014
Tornano più agguerriti che mai gli americani Aurora Borealis, vecchia conoscenza del metal estremo statunitense, arrivati infatti al ventennio di una carriera vissuta ai margini a livello di popolarità, ma dalla proposta qualitativamente ottima.

Il gruppo del Maryland, infatti, ha mosso i suoi primi passi nel 1994 per esordire con un Ep nel 1996 ed arrivare fino ad oggi con l’uscita del sesto full-lenght intitolato Worldshapers, mantenendo sempre in vita il concept sci-fi che ne caratterizza testi ed immagini di copertina.
Il sound continua, imperterrito, ad essere un bel connubio tra death metal, alquanto brutal e black, riconducibile alla voce di Ron Vento e a qualche accelerazione ritmica tipica del genere.
Musicisti d’esperienza e produzione professionale fanno di questo album un gioiellino imperdibile di musica estrema, dove sono riscontrabili un’assoluta mancanza di compromessi e un’attitudine mai venuta meno al combo.
Un’intro futurista, come da copione, lascia spazio a God Like Redemption, death/black furioso, cantato a meraviglia da un malefico Ron, sempre perfetto con il suo caratteristico scream acido, e bissata dalla velocissima title-track, devastante nel suo drumming indiavolato.
Dopo Induced Mutation, dalle influenze black, la band si assesta su coordinate dath e l’album prende il volo: gli assoli si fanno più melodici, il cantato cadenzato e più cupo e si susseguono song dove sua maestà il death diventa sovrano tiranno e crudele.
The Oldest Dilemma, This Is The Way They Choose To Die, And To The Stars Returned sono song ispiratissime, nelle quali i nostri si dimostrano maestri nel plasmare la materia nonché musicisti coi fiocchi, a cominciare dalla sezione ritmica, composta dal bassista Jason Ian-Vaughn Eckert, eguagliato in bravura dal martellante Mark Green alle pelli.
Ron Vento, dalla sua, macina riff su riff e regala splendidi assoli melodici che impreziosiscono un lavoro già di per sè ottimo. Un buon ritorno dunque per la band americana che, con quest’album, conferma tutte le proprie qualità, fiera portabandiera del death metal a stelle e strisce.
Alberto Centenari [7.5/10]
XXL-Rock.com (ger) 03.04.2014
Meine Bekanntschaft mit den Amis von Aurora Borealis beschränkt sich auf ihre Alben „Praise the Archaic Lights Embrace" (1998), das damals noch recht schwach in der Hüfte war und dem 2003er Output „Time, Unveiled", das mir schon erheblich besser gefallen hat (was auch viel mit dem Wechsel hinterm Mikro zu tun hatte!). Trotzdem ist der Kontakt irgendwie abgebrochen und erst jetzt mit ihrem mittlerweile sechsten Album treffen wir uns wieder.

Was mir als erstes positiv auffällt, dass sich personell nichts getan hat, was ich besonders beim Sänger Ron Vento sehr begrüße. Der gute Mann hat einfach das gewisse Etwas in der Stimme, eine ganz eigene Mischung aus Keifen und Growlen – sehr schick! Musikalisch hat sich in den Jahren, die verpasst habe dagegen so einiges getan: Die Band ist aber mal so richtig gut geworden! Gerade an den Drums hat sich viel Positives getan, der Kollege Mark Green prügelt sich auf der CD die Seele aus dem Leib und trägt damit ordentlich dazu bei, dass die Scheibe unglaublich brutal daher kommt. Vergleiche mit Bands wie Nile oder den frühen Kataklysm kommen einem da schnell in den Sinn, obwohl Aurora Borealis mittlerweile eigenständig genug sind, um auch nur den leisesten Verdacht zu erregen eine bloße Kopie darzustellen.

Die zehn Songs knallen in Lichtgeschwindigkeit an dir vorbei und hinterlassen nicht als kokelnde Ohrmuscheln. Es macht einen Heidenspaß, diesem infernalischen Geknüppel zuzuhören und ich muss nochmal die atemberaubende Performance des Trommlers erwähnen (Ihr merkt, ich bin hin und weg von diesem Tier hinterm Drumkit!!). Auch merkt man, dass die Kollegen seit mittlerweile fast 14 Jahren ohne Line Up-Wechsel unterwegs sind, das Zusammenspiel ist fehlerlos und absolut mitreißend! High Speed Death Metal (oder auch „Hyperblasting Death Metal", wie der Spaß gerne mal genannt wird) der Extraklasse. Aber Vorsicht: Bei diesem Tempo kann ein Mitmoschen echt tödlich enden!

Ich find´s einfach nur geil, ein perfektes Album, um mal wieder so richtig die Sau raus zu lassen! Technisch hochwertig, knüppelhart und herrlich brutal!
Christian Hemmer [6/7]
Hypnos Webzine (ita) 31.03.2014
Gli Aurora Borealis festeggiano nel migliore dei modi i loro vent’anni di onorata carriera pubblicando il settimo full length “Worldshapers”, un micidiale concentrato di Black/Death suonato con una tecnica disarmante. In poco meno di tre quarti d’ora gli statunitensi sfoderano infatti un sound duro, impetuoso e dirompente in cui le chitarre si lanciano in pattern convulsi e intrecciati, veri e propri assalti frontali supportati dalla velocità disumana del drumming e da uno screaming secco e “raschiante”.

Quello che rende interessante questo disco è la capacità disarmante con cui gli Aurora Borealis passano da un riff all’altro con tanto di cambiamenti improvvisi, ma allo stesso tempo fluidi, delle strutture ritmiche: restiamo così confusi e alienati davanti a questo ininterrotto torrente di violenza e brutalità espresso con una padronanza degli strumenti davvero invidiabile. Non troverete quindi sfuriate fini a se stesse ma strutture complesse e variegate senza mai scadere nel puro ed autoreferenziale virtuosismo tecnico. Ascoltate per credere “The Oldest Of Dilemmas”, caratterizzata da un incedere marziale e da un groove trascinante che si sposa alla perfezione con le melodie schizofreniche e abrasive delle chitarre; la martellante “And To The Stars Returned”, i cui fraseggi piombano su di noi come una pioggia di fuoco e lapilli, mentre una fulminea cascata di note decadenti rende l’atmosfera ancor più afosa e sulfurea. “Watchers From Above” gode di mid tempo rocciosi e incalzanti spezzati da accelerazioni agghiaccianti e nervose; con “A Subtle Way To Eradicate Them” si è risucchiati in un vortice di sonorità moleste e malate, quasi al limite del fastidio per il feeling teso e tagliente. Il Black/Death degli Aurora Borealis ha una carica annichilente e ferina, quasi deformante per la veemenza con cui queste ondate di puro odio e violenza vengono suonate. “Worldshapers” si rivela così un ottimo disco, compatto, privo di cali di tensione e dotato di una intrinseca e strisciante complessità: un eccellente esempio di Black/Death consigliato a chi non si accontenta di soluzioni dirette e di facile assimilazione ma preferisce strutture elaborate e dense di pazzia.

BRIEF COMMENT: “Worldshapers”, seventh smashing full length album by american Aurora Borealis, is a fitful and devastating Black/Death Metal experience characterized by an insane, harsh and savage riffing, supported by complex structures and suffocating atmospheres.
Metal.de (ger) 28.03.2014
Zum sechsten Mal leuchtet das Nordlicht in all seinen metallischen Farben. AURORA BOREALIS lassen zehn geladene Teilchen auf die Erdatmosphäre treffen und die Kompositionen von "World Shapers" sind so eindrucksvoll wie das Polarlicht als solches. Wobei man schon beim großen Unterschied zu anderen Sektor-Bands ist. Konzeptionell und hinsichtlich des Bandnamens denkt man spontan wohl eher an eine progressive Lautrichtung. Die Amerikaner fühlen sich im musikalischen Florida jedoch ebenso wohl wie MONSTROSITY, frühe HATE ETERNAL, MALEVOLENT CREATION und Konsorten, reichern ihren Death Metal aber noch häufiger durch Thrash-Riffs und Tiefenschwärze an.

Manche Combos verzichten ganz und gar darauf, ihre Songs zu einem inhaltlichen Konzept zu verweben. AURORA BOREALIS bewerkstelligen das sogar albumübergreifend. Die letzte Erleuchtung "Timeline: The Beginning And End Of Everything" (2011) handelte von der Entstehung des Lebens bis hin zum Untergang – bei der Wiedergeburt des Universums knüpft das neue Studioalbum an, das instrumental betrachtet wie gewohnt eine illustre Mischung aus reichlich Death Metal mit einigen Frickel-Momenten und etwas Black und Thrash Metal bietet. Das reißt den urtypischen Florida-Sound etwas auf und schafft Platz für Neues. So erspielen sich AURORA BOREALIS auf interessante Weise eine ganz eigene Unterkategorie zum eh schon sub-gelagerten Genre.

Ein großer Pluspunkt ist die Stimme, die viel mehr nach Schwarzmetall glänzt als nach dumpfen Todes-Growls. Drumherum wird dem Hörer überwiegend Stampfen, Sägen, Schreddern geboten und vereinzelt werden feinere Leads eingestreut, die dem Bollwerk eine melodische Seite verpassen. Das Tempo hat man, trotz einiger Wechsel, fast komplett im oberen Bereich angesiedelt – so erhält "World Shapers" auch eine ansprechende technische Komponente. Die Truppe ist aber nicht nur an den Instrumenten versiert, das gesamte Songwriting – der Aufbau der Lieder, die Breaks und Tempowechsel, das Facettenreichtum – zeugt von Erfahrung und Klasse. Nicht zuletzt durch variable Drums, die sich perfekt an die Geschwindigkeit anpassen. Einige Riffs verdeutlichen zwar die überproduzierte Seite des neuen Werks, als Konglomerat mit den zum Teil futuristischen Soundschnipseln funktioniert der Klang hier aber. Nichts, um völlig durchzudrehen, ansonsten aber ein richtig starkes Album – durchgehend.
André Gabriel [8/10]
FFM-Rock Webzine (ger) 28.03.2014
Schon das sechste Album der Ami Deather, die nach dem Intro „In The Beginning“ mit „God Like Redemption“ losbrettern, als gäbe es kein morgen mehr. Da wird im Stile von Deicide gegrowlt und gescreamt, die Double Bass rollt oftmals und auch in Sachen Tempo sind die Herren kein Kind von Traurigkeit. Hier wird technisch geballert auf Teufel komm raus und auch „World Shapers“ ist eine perfekte Inszenierung aus Härte, Speed und Technik. Stark, wie „Induced Mutation“ in seiner rasenden Aggression immer wieder von geilen Breaks durchzogen wird und auch wenn „The Oldest of Dilemmas“ im Mid Tempo anfänglich drückt ohne Ende, es wird dann eine Spur Thrash eingestreut, bevor auch hier der Knüppel wohldosiert aus dem Sack gelassen wird. Ein stampfenden Banger Anfang hat „Watchers From Above“ inne, doch dann wird geholzt und immer schön daran gedacht, das Ganze mit starken Breaks und sogar melodischen Riffläufen zu garnieren. Bei „This Is the Way They Choose to Die“ haben die Amis das Tempo weitestgehend raus genommen und konzentrieren sich auf teils disharmonische Riffs, der Nacken wird voll beansprucht und Ballerei kommt nur mal kurz auf. Dafür kloppt „A Subtle Way to Eradicate Them“ wieder ordentlich drauf, doch hier gefallen mir die Riffs bei den Breaks leider nicht so besonders, denn irgendwie klingen sie gleich und gehen daher etwas auf den Senkel, was die technischen Feinheiten des Stücks etwas schmälern. Bei „Silent War“ kommt mir diese Gefühl auch in den Sinn, jedoch nicht so stark wie zuvor und das letze Stück „And to the Stars Returned“ fügt sich nahtlos in das „ballern/ frickeln“ Konzept ein. Alles in allem eine sehr gute Scheibe für 7,5 von 10 Punkten, an manchen Stellen hatte ich das Gefühl, das ein wenig die Luft raus wäre, aber ansonsten richtig gut.
Jochen Strubel [7.5/10]
Adequacy.net (usa) 25.03.2014
Aurora Borealis from Waldorf, Maryland storm back with a vengeance on their latest release World Shapers on Xtreem Music. I am familiar with their brand of black and death metal, but never really delved headlong into their back catalog. Utilizing the same personnel heard on Timeline, it should be interesting to see what Ron Vento and company have in store this time around.

“God Like Redemption” opens things up and proceeds to belt you swiftly in the face. Precision drum work, tight and heavy guitar riffs along with short, sinister vocal delivery envelop your entire being. The one thing this album is not short on is variety; patterns never really overstay their welcome and quickly shift direction. Production is top notch as Ron Vento handles it all in his Nightsky Studios.

Lyrical themes, as evidenced from sensational cover art from Mike Hrubovcak, focus on Aliens not unlike Sweden’s Hypocrisy. “Induced Mutation” states, “we are the products of replication revised from total devastation”—very solid wordsmithing through and through. “The Oldest of Dilemmas” continues with the dynamic and brings some catchy guitar riffs into the fold. The staggered vocals and tempo are quite reminiscent of what Proscriptor accomplishes with Absu.

By the time I got to “Watchers from Above” I thought I had hit a stagnant point…. and then a fantastic riff smacked me right in the head, so it is proving difficult to identify any type of flaws. This album just pulses with intensity as evidenced on the aptly named “A Subtle Way to Eradicate Them”. Massive, simply massive.

“Silent War” seemed to be the only track that lacked a certain energy in relation to the other tracks, but it is still a solid track anyway you want to slice it. The opening of “And to the Stars Returned” bears a striking resemblance to Dimmu Borgir’s “Puritania”—not a criticism, just an observation. Incidentally I have always loved that track.

There is not much more I can say to convince you that World Shapers is a quality album. Aurora Borealis are clearly at the top of their game here. It’s safe to say that they have set the barometer high for the rest of the releases for 2014—it’s already at the top of my list. In closing I would also like to add…. get this album now!
Puro Ruido Webzine (arg) 23.03.2014
Andaba con ganas de escuchar algo así. Si bien no soy un ferviente seguidor de esta clase de Black/Death, reconozco que, ocasionalmente, me resulta muy entretenido escuchar bandas de esta clase. La principal razón por la cual deseaba escuchar algo como este nuevo trabajo de Aurora Borealis, es que las bandas que más me interesan dentro de este estilo, están un poco apagadas últimamente. Belphegor vienen lanzando discos poco memorables desde hace unos años, y tienden a repetirse de manera poco favorable para su propuesta. Godless Rising no se caracterizan por ser muy prolíficos, lamentablemente, más allá del buen nivel exhibido en sus trabajos. Aurora Borealis van por esos carriles, y lo hacen bastante bien. Combinando los estilos antes mencionados (Black y Death Metal), los norteamericanos conjugan voces desgarradas, bases trepidantes, riffs tan oscuros como melódicos y diabólicos, y arreglos que en donde muestran buena técnica, además de algunas ideas realmente poderosas. El sonido de la banda no es muy estridente, y de hecho suena bastante claro; pero dentro de esa claridad emerge una agresividad maléfica, con lo cual el sonido del grupo logra nutrirse de tanta violencia como pulcritud, lo que permite que Aurora Borealis suenen muy intensos, mas permitiendo que cada instrumento se aprecie con claridad.

“Worldshapers” es un disco homogéneo, en el cual predomina un hilo conductor, tanto en lo estilístico como en la faz lírica. Dentro de ese panorama dominado por la homogeneidad, sobresalen canciones como “This Is the Way They Choose to Die” y “And to the Stars Returned”, canciones que conjugan las mayores virtudes del trío creado por Ron Vento tras la disolución de Lestregus Nosferatus. En cuanto a las performances de los músicos, si bien todos cumplen su labor de manera encomiable, Mark Green (batería) sobresale gracias a su destreza y potencia. Pero así como el álbum en sí mismo no tiene altibajos, el trabajo de los 3 músicos tampoco lo tiene. Todo en este disco resulta parejo, simétrico y contundente. Todo aquí es tan prolijo como agresivo, y, de cierto modo, hasta hay cierto grado de sofisticación dentro del estilo extremo que practican Vento y sus compañeros. “Worldshapers” es un buen disco, y Aurora Borealis es una buena banda. Nada que no hayamos escuchado antes unas cientos de veces; pero recurriendo al viejo truco de hacer bien lo que hacen, un truco que nunca falla.
Puro Ruido
Wonderbox Metal Webzine (hol) 20.03.2014
Aurora Borealis are from the US and play Black Metal with a Death Metal influence. This is the sixth album from this underrated veteran band.

I’m already a fan of this band so was eagerly looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on this one. Aurora Borealis have always been one of those band who have managed to be brutal, melodic, extreme and catchy all at the same time, and this new album of theirs is no exception.

The drums speed by like carpet bombs going off and the guitars are as razor sharp as always.

The vocals are harsh croaks that sound way better than they probably should and the vocalist always seems to come up with interesting rhythms and patterns for his voice.

The songs are no disappointment, with each one providing the riffs and melodies needed, as well us the right combination of brutality and restraint necessary for involving songs. The tracks are mainly in the 4:00-5:00 range and allow each song to develop and breathe without losing focus.

Another exemplary album of brutal Black Metal from this group of experts.
Dead Rhetoric Webzine (usa) 20.03.2014
Despite their extensive back catalogue and revolving door of top notch drummers (including Derek Roddy, Tony Laureano, and Tim Yeung), Aurora Borealis have yet to really reach that upper echelon of death metal in their 20 year existence. World Shapers marks the band’s sixth full-length album, and first for the Xtreem Music label.

The first band reference that comes to mind when hearing Aurora Borealis is that of Angelcorpse. Vicious blackened death metal that doesn’t ease off of the blast beats, the two hold a number of striking similarities, though Aurora Borealis tends to come off as a bit more melodically proficient. For those interested in playing the “who do they sound like” game, you’ll find a number of Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, and Monstrosity references in their technically flaring yet melodically captured material. They’ve come to embrace a more sci-fi theme over the years, but thankfully they don’t get too caught up in creating more of an ambient and sample-intensive atmosphere as many bands do. This is straight ahead blackened death that does not relent for its runtime, and it works.

With Aurora Borealis advancing with the subtlety of a bulldozer, the whole thing would be an exercise in boredom if not for their melodic underpinnings. While some of it may not show among the first few listens (one exception: “Watchers From Above”), it does start to appear with subsequent playthroughs and keeps things from becoming monotonous. Also aiding with this are the raspy vocals (again, a la Angelcorpse) that have a pretty high degree of enunciation, which is always a plus with this style of music.

For a band now into their second decade, Aurora Borealis are overcoming the odds and releasing some of their best material yet. As an added perk, if you visit their website, they are offering pay what you’d like downloads (yes, that includes free for the cheapskates out there).
Kyle McGinn [7.5/10]
Rockenportada.com (spa) 20.03.2014
Hace poco salió a la venta el último disco de Aurora Borealis, “Worldshapers”, el sexto en la carrera de los de Meryland (USA). Desde que la banda se fundara en el 94 pasarían 4 años hasta que se publicara su primer álbum, con el que comenzaron una estela de trabajos de calidad como esta joya que tenemos entre manos, que sigue la línea de puro black/death metal del que siempre complace a sus amantes.

Comenzamos con la intro “In the Begining”, con un rollo muy futurista.

“God like Redemption” pone ya en funcionamiento la máquina de black y death metal, enganchándote desde un principio para no soltarte. Con velocidad y una base bien construida, buen comienzo.

Y sin parar le sigue “Worldshapers”, de nuevo destilando fuerza y rabia. Increíbles los riffs de guitarra y la máquina Mark con los pedales y las baquetas de su batería.

Más lento empieza “Induced Mutation”, pero en seguida meten la quinta para seguir con un temazo que no te deja quedarte quieto, con partes donde la desgarradora voz de Ron te envuelve y te atrapa.

“The Oldest of Dilemmas” comienza con una adictiva melodía que va acompañando a ratos el tema hasta el final. Para un servidor, uno de los mejores temas del disco.

aurora borealis - worldshapers

Con “Watchers from Above” sacan al comienzo su lado más oscuro y más blackmetalero, para luego seguir con un metal más thrash. Buen tema.

Y seguimos sin pisar en freno de esta apisonadora de death metal con “This is the Way They Choose to Die”, “A Subtle Way to Erradicate Them” y “Silent War”, tres temazos para preceder el final.

Y terminamos con una joya llamada “And to the Stars Returned”, donde echan el resto para ofrecernos un trallazo de caña con partes melódicas espectaculares y solos de guitarra cojonudos. No hay mejor manera de finalizar el disco.

Gran vuelta de los americanos que, tras tres años sin nuevo material nos traen esta maravilla de disco con temática futurista que deleitará tus oídos en cada escucha. Esperemos que sigan así durante muchos años.
Josete y Sonia [8.5/10]
Angry Metal Guy Webzine (uk) 15.03.2014
“From palpable obscurity, tumultuous streams of glory gushed, ten thousand thousand rainbows rushed and reveled through the boundless sky, in jousting, flashing radiancy.” That was David Vedder’s description the Aurora Borealis back around the 1800s, and today it remains a fitting description of these Maryland-based blackened death metallers that deliver a brand of bludgeoning melodicism reminiscent of Carcass and Morbid Angel. 20 years into their career, Aurora Borealis are in the process of introducing their highly-charged sixth full-length release, the follow-up to Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything going back to 2011.

World Shapers spins off from “Tearing Holes in the Fabric of Time” voicing tales of the human race using these gashes in the fabric to send encoded DNA messages into other dimensions. World Shapers steps beyond what Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything delivered, delving into the reception of these crackling DNA charged messages, with intelligently written lyrics that speak of the universe, it’s birth, it’s death and everything else in between.

“In the Beginning” sets the changing, mind-altering mood, before blundering heavily into “God Like Redemption.” The base riff sounds like it was pulled from Kreator’s Phantom Antichrist album which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s memorable, familiar and relentless. Man of many talents (vocals, guitars, keyboards, lyrics and production) Ron Vento (ex-Lestregus Nosferatus) has an urgent quality to his vocals, delivering a raspy high-pitched growl having similarities to Jeff Walker with added in-your-face blackened ardor. Big vocal moments include the album title track, “Watchers from Above” and “This is the Way They Choose to Die” and despite Ron’s spluttering delivery it’s oddly easy to pick up on lines like “They’re watching from above” repeated over and over, leaving you looking anxiously over your shoulder.

Delving into the heart of the album you’ll notice the guitar soloing doesn’t really become the focus, but rather shows its ugly face briefly, pulled back behind the continuous veil of blast beats and vocals, reshaping until all you’re left with is an overwhelming edge of disquietude. The solo around the mid point of “God Like Redemption” is indicative of the skulking devastation lying in wait, following through into “Induced Mutation,” “The Oldest of Dilemmas,” “Silent War” and “And to the Stars Returned.”

Aurora Borealis - World Shapers 02The pillaging continues with the title track, showing off clever layering of the barbed riff over Mark Green’s (Embludgeonment, ex-Amorphic Form, ex-The Adept, ex-Insatanity, ex-Pyrexia) solid wall of urgent, energetic blast beats that form the backbone of the album. There’s no lack of skill and chemistry across the instrumentation, and while the tracks are reasonable lengthy, they have enough technicality to keep them demanding and interesting and it’s only with repeated listens that the chaos wears off and the albums melodicism settles into place.

The incessant blasting, relentless pace and compounded anxiety reminds me to some extent of Suffocation, having a tendency to become exhausting when you attempt to get through the entire concept behind both albums. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ron Vento at his own Nightsky Studio, World Shapers delivers modern, brutal, fast and technical yet melodic death metal with a nice blackened edge that’s not dramatically different from what Aurora Borealis delivered in Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything. This is a consistently good action packed release with an over-powering show of brute force and unrestrained intellect and if you enjoyed the earlier release, you’ll enjoy this one also. And as an added little bonus, Aurora Borealis are offering their entire discography for free download – check it out!
Madam X [3/5]
Grind On The Road Webzine (ita) 14.03.2014
Gli statunitensi Aurora Borealis sono una band che sin dagli esordi si è sempre mossa all’interno delle coordinate del death/black metal freddo e calcolatore, a volte spingendosi maggiormente verso i lidi death, altre volte maggiormente verso la fiamma nera, mantenendo sempre come punto di riferimento per testi ed artwork il cosmo, lo spazio e la mitologia legata ad antiche civiltà.

Giunti nel primo trimestre del 2014 i nostri hanno dato alle stampe il sesto album da studio, coronazione di una rispettabile carriera iniziata nel 1994 e quindi festeggiando “de facto” i vent’anni di attività; il neo arrivato Worldshapers, il cui artwork ricorderà a molti un vecchio capolavoro della fantascienza intitolato Stargate, si presenta al pubblico come un’opera completa e ben caratterizzata, che si basa su un death/black assimilabile ai Behemoth di metà carriera, con un occhio di riguardo verso il death tecnico e carismatico di Decapitated e Decrepit Birth, il tutto reso più freddo ed alieno grazie ad un impeccabile produzione nitida, dalle atmosfere rarefatte. “In the Beginning” è una breve intro dal mood cyber-futuristico che pare voler annunciare la discesa dei Transformers sul nostro pianeta; dopo tale preludio arriva “God Like Redemption”, un pezzo dal carattere esuberante, basato su riff dinamici blackeggianti e pattern di batteria terremotanti, con blast-beats sempre in primo piano e rasoiate in puro stile Marduk. Proseguendo la tracklist inizia ad orientarsi maggiormente verso il death metal: troviamo quindi la doppietta centrale formata da “Induced Mutation” e “The Oldest of Dilemmas”, le cui radici affondano profondamente nell’old-school death, tra mid tempos quadrati ad accelerazioni repentine che lasciano alla batteria la parte del leone. “This Is the Way They Choose to Die” mette maggiormente in mostra la preparazione tecnica degli Aurora Borealis con vorticose evoluzioni chitarristiche fuse magistralmente ad atmosfere creepy ed oscure à là Decrepitaph; infine, tra gli ultimi brani troveremo l’ottima “Silent War”, dal DNA 100% black/death classico, caratterizzata da passaggi graffianti con alcune incursioni in territori thrash metal, e la conclusiva “And to the Stars Returned”, che apre con un’inaspettata melodia sulla quale aleggia lo spettro dei Dark Tranquillity per poi scatenarsi in una cavalcata black metal dalle folli velocità assassine.

La saga mitologico-spaziale continua, gli Aurora Borealis paiono non accusare minimamente il passare degli anni continuando a produrre ottima musica, estrema e tecnica al punto giusto, tenendosi cari i propri fans più agguerriti e riuscendo sicuramente a conquistare qualche nuova leva. Pur non risultando eclatante o rivoluzionario Worldshapers risulta un lavoro ben confezionato, che non sfigurerà a confronto con le altre uscite death/black di quest’anno.
Exhumed [7/10]
Brutalism.com (hol) 12.03.2014
Aurora Borealis has finally released another record. The follow up to "Timeline: The Beginning And End Of Everything", is called "WorldShapers". Ron Vento (vocals and guitars) and his crew never disappoint and this album picks right up where "Timeline" left off.

First to note is the production on this album. It’s sounds crystal clear, with no instrument overpowering and burying the rest of the band. The guitars take center stage, but don’t drown out the bass or kick drums. The vocals are at a level that allows notes and tempos to compliment lyrics instead of words being beaten down by the instruments. If you’re looking for an album where you can pick out your instrument of choice or just listen to the story told by the lyrics this is how it should be done.

Musically the album is chock full of metal. It has great sweeping guitar riffs, blast beats that make your pulse race, and complimenting bass guitar. It isn’t just one-dimensional though, there is a great mix of tempo throughout. It’s not blast beat after blast beat, but a nice mix of groove and mid tempos. Sure the opening track, “God Like Redemption” blasts right out of the gate, but later on “This Is The Way They Choose to Die” dials the pace back a bit. Even the title track doesn’t drag you along at warp speed the entire track, there are nice breaks to catch your breath and enjoy the grooves before the pace picks up again. Then there are the catchy riffs and tempo of “The Oldest of Dilemmas.” Goddamn that intro is badass!

Aurora Borealis fits right in as black/death metal. Regardless of it the band accepts that label, their albums have the blazing speeds, blistering guitar solos, and heaviness demanded by death metal fans. At the same time their songs have a bit more to say and tell a story with an audible, and discernable vocal delivery that should appease the most metal fans in general.

Aurora Borealis have been around for a while, and with hopefully will keep putting out albums. There was talk about remixing some of their older albums, which would be awesome! This band, their older albums or this newest effort, Worldshapers, isn’t hard to recommend to anyone who is into metal. It’s a solid album that can be listened to beginning to end, or popped in to play a few tracks. For fans of the band, this is a must have, for first time listeners this is a solid album to get you hooked.
Rob Lutterman [4/5]
SMN News (usa) 08.03.2014
This band has been around for years and years and it has mostly released albums via its own label. I remember the band struggling to promote its music on forums back in the day and tracking its progress, each album was largely an improvement over the earlier ones. This band is playing Black/Death Metal, remaining gritty not unlike Angelcorpse, but being more dynamic comparatively. It’s got a unique theme and all album artworks represent that. As the band name suggests, they’re mostly indicative of the Aurora Borealis phenomenon happening in the north side although the band has progressed to involve sci-fi imagery not far removed from Nocturnus, where artworks are concerned. Musically, the band remains true to its original Black/Death sound but it’s doing it with far more potential and competency than the others. The latest 2014 album has bits of sci-fi fireworks but they’re too few and far between to really affect the music on an intrinsic level.

The band’s definitely got a solid US Death Metal sense, it’s not flirting too much with the European style of melody-infused Death Metal as it may appear. You’ll be surprised to find it so hard-hitting and gravelly and yet be rife with some of the most driven and enthusiastic activity. It’s not technical but it’s varied and god, it’s catchy. Again it’s not some dumbed down music, but catchiness with aggression, the kind they don’t make any more. Floridian Death Metal bands have much in common with the way Aurora Borealis structures its songs, apart from Angelcorpse, there’s the ever-present Morbid Angel influence, infected with early Malevolent Creation rabidity and some of the newer Monstrosity material similarity as well. This is what makes Death Metal so good, few could contest with that. It’s got Death Metal in its genes, but Aurora Borealis takes the vitriol from Black Metal especially in the vocal department and gives the music an edge that’s hard to miss. It’s refreshing in a sense because too often monotonous growls make the proceedings dull and repetitive. Here there’s that special spice, that sizzling quality that comes from the rasps, a certain thrashiness to it as well.

The hooks make this album special. It’s normal to get lost in the music but they come as a constant reminder of the quality of the band’s music, never letting your attention drift too far away. I wish there were more atmospheric elements as the artworks suggest but if you want your music to be aggressive and gritty and riffy all the same time, you couldn’t possibly get disappointed with this. ‘Worldshapers’ is an accomplished effort, where the band has used its two decades of experience to make sure it’s as potent as ever, probably better. In times where numbing brutality is the order of the day, Aurora Borealis surely stands out, heads and shoulders above.
Kunal Choksi
The Metal Observer Webzine (usa) 07.03.2014
You’d think that a band that had been home to drumming legends Tony Laureano, Derek Roddy and Tim Yeung at various stages of its career would have a considerably high profile in the world of all things heavy, but alas Aurora Borealis continues to toil away in (relative) obscurity. We’ll just have to chalk it up to a worrying oversight on the part of the greater metal populace as these Maryland natives boast a very respectable back catalogue.

A follow-up of sorts to their previous effort, 2011’s conceptual Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything, there is naturally a lot of overlap between the two albums but on the whole Worldshapers simply hits harder and cuts deeper than its immediate predecessor. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the album that finally makes good on the promise that’s been (somewhat) dormant in this band ever since Northern Lights back in 2000. Not so much a reinvention as a re-tooling of their sound, Worldshapers sees the band continue to bust out its trademark blackened death metal but doing so with renewed vigor and a seemingly newfound appreciation for subtlety. There’s no shortage of blast-ridden belligerence to be had here – the first half of the album sees them going for the jugular from the get-go – but it’s during the second half of proceedings that Worldshapers really takes off and shows just what a deadly beast Aurora Borealis can be.

The nifty lead work in “Watchers from Above” and “This is the Way They Choose to Die” adds a heretofore unexplored melodic dynamic to their sound, with the solos in the latter hinting ever so subtly at a jazzy/lounge-y aesthetic that serves as wonderful counterpoint to some of the more menacing numbers on here. Elsewhere, the Belphegor-esque melodies of “Silent War” allow a blackened vibe to snake its way into proceedings before the band lets rip on closing number “And to the Stars Returned,” which is a perfect synthesis between death, black and thrash that would get fans of Goatwhore and Skeletonwitch all hot and bothered. Mainman Ron Vento’s raspy vocal delivery has that same percussive quality as Chance Garnette’s, and it fits the music like a glove.

My only gripe is that they’ve squandered the opportunity to spice things up even more with a few samples or ambient touches (Sci-Fi themed metal like this always benefits from a bit of cinematic flair, methinks). All things considered, though, Worldshapers is a focused, richly textured and well fleshed-out collection of songs and arguably their best effort yet.
Neil Pretorius [8/10]
HeavyMetal.About.com (usa) 07.03.2014
The long-running Maryland band Aurora Borealis return for their seventh album Worldshapers. Conceptually, it continues where their last album Timeline: The Beginning and End Of Everything left off.

The band alternates between traditional, blastbeat driven black metal and groovier death metal influenced sections. There's plenty of extremity,especially in the vocals of Ron Vento, but there's ample melody as well. They do a nice job of varying tempos, going from slow-paced ominous death metal to galloping thrash to frantic black metal.
Chad Bowar [4/5]
Two Guys Metal Review Webzine (fra) 06.03.2014
Not a lot of extreme metal bands that started in 1994 are still going, fewer still that have the tasty riffs and unique vision of Aurora Borealis. A band who have put out many strong releases, World Shapers would seem to be their best yet. These guys have never let others tell them how to play or what to do, and this record is further proof of that. Focused on those classic themes of times forgot and the cosmos this is a record that is easy to fall into with its bleak and heart rending soundscapes. More than that, this is an album that reaches out and shows the magic of the ancients to the modern fan.

Part of the joy of World Shapers is in the mythic and vicious growl of Ron Vento. It is not just your regular scream, there is a ferocity here that few of Vento's peers can touch on. It gives a wonderful flavor to the music and further establishes Vento place as the mastermind behind this band. Another thing that I really dig about World Shapers is the guitar riffs. They provide a perfect mix of black metals speed with thrash metal ferocity. On top of that is a healthy dose of chunky death metal magic, helping to keep World Shapers worth many a spin as you dig deeper into the impressive layers of riffs and triumphant songwriting that gives this record its backbone.

Many of you may not have heard of Aurora Borealis before, and let me tell you, you need to delve deeper into this group. Aurora Borealis have an incredible pedigree and are simply too good to be taken lightly. Filled with screaming riffs and some truly top notch production, this may very well be the record that breaks Aurora Borealis to the death metal loving community, they certainly deserve it. Replete with all sorts of unique ideas and some very cool, thought provoking riffs, World Shapers is if nothing else, a death metal record for the ages.
Matt Baggins
Bringer of Death Webzine (usa) 06.03.2014
Aurora Borealis are a band from Florida that has been featured before in this zine with a musical style I would describe as being blackened death metal and this is a review of their 2014 album "World Shapers" which was released by Xtreem Music.

The album starts out with avant garde sound effects and after the intro the music goes into a fast and brutal blackened death metal direction along with some growls, screams and blast beats as well as a mixture of mid paced and fast parts and you can also hear a good amount of melody in the music which also leads up to guitar solos and leads becoming a part of the music.

As the album progresses you can also hear small traces of electronic music in certain sections of the recording while mostly sticking to a more blackened death metal sound while also bringing in a good amount of old school elements from both the black and death metal genres as well as adding in thrash metal influences at times while also having a good balance between melody and brutality.

With this album Aurora Borealis stick to the blackened death metal sound that they are known for while also being a bit more melodic this time around as well as bringing in a small amount of electronic elements and they also show a great amount of talent and skill with the songs that are displayed on this recording.

Song lyrics cover esoteric, metaphysical and philosophical themes, while the production has a very strong, powerful, heavy and professional sound along with the bass guitars being mixed down low in the mix.

In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Aurora Borealis and if you are a fan of blackened death metal, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "In The Beginning" "World Shapers" "Watchers From Above" and "And To The Stars Returned".
OccultBlackMetal [8.5/10]
My Revelations Webzine (ger) 28.02.2014
Die Polarlichter aus dem US Bundesstaat Florida präsentieren ihr neues Werk "World Shapers". Es ist das sechste Album der dreiköpfigen Band. Das prominenteste Mitglied der Band ist sicherlich Schlagzeuger Tony Laureano (Dimmu Borgir, Angelcorpse, Belphegor). Das Thema des Albums sind kosmische und mythische Zukunftsvisionen auf die uns auch schon das ansehnliche Cover Artwork einstimmt. Damit ist es thematisch die direkte Fortsetzung des Vorgängeralbums "Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything" und präsentiert uns musikalisch einen Mix aus Death und Black Metal mit leichten Thrash-Einflüssen. Mit technisch gut eingespielten Riffs und gefälligen Hooklines, die durch sauber gesetzte Tempiwechsel und Blastbeats unterstützt werden, kann"World Sharpers" auf alle Fälle punkten. Warum das neue Werk trotzdem nicht bei mir einschlagen will, kann ich nicht mal genau sagen, denn eigentlich bringt das Album alles mit was ein gutes Metal Album braucht. Solide Growls, die nötige Aggressivität und Geschwindigkeit. Auch an der Kreativität des Songwritings habe ich nicht wirklich was auszusetzen. Ok, es ist sicher keine absolute Offenbarung, aber man merkt schon, dass sich die Jungs was dabei gedacht haben. Mit wiederkehrenden kleineren Soundeffekten, angepassten Soli und einem insgesamt ausbalancierten Sound Mix geben sich alle Beteiligten Mühe dem Ganzen die nötige Atmosphäre zu verleihen, die man dem Zuhörer vermitteln möchte. Ob das gelungen ist, bin ich mir ehrlich gesagt nicht sicher. Kennt ihr das, wenn ein Album eigentlich alles mitbringt um einem zu gefallen, aber irgendwie passt es trotzdem nicht, ohne das man wirklich sagen kann warum? So geht es mir mit diesem Werk. Die einzige Begründung, die ich für mich jetzt tatsächlich gefunden habe nachdem ich mir "World Shapers" hoch und runter angehört habe, ist, dass mir manche Songpassagen zu hektisch und zu abrupt sind, was für mein Gefühl den Hörfluss beeinträchtigt. Ich kann es euch echt nicht richtig sagen. Vielleicht bin ich einfach auch noch nicht bereit für die kosmischen Zukunftsvisionen von Aurora Borealis. Ich bin mir ganz sicher, dass das Album seine Fans und Liebhaber finden wird und wer weiß vielleicht gehört ihr dazu, denn schlecht ist das neue Werk der US-Amerikaner sicher nicht.
Mario Loeb [9/15]
Xtreem Music (spa) 26.02.2014
Menuda novedad nos trae Xtreem desde la patria de Obama… Una joya que cualquier amante del Black Metal, o más concretamente del Blackened Death Metal, no puede perderse. Lo primero que resulta evidente desde los primeros compases del álbum, que empiezan a tronar tras una breve intro de ruidos cibernéticos, es la asombrosa madurez de esta banda que lleva con su proyecto nada menos que veinte años. Puedo asegurar que se nota: en la compenetración, en la producción, en la calidad de estos diez temas de vértigo.

En la base, inequívocamente, aquellos proyectos de Black melódico al estilo de DISSECTION, que no priman la agresividad sino la ejecución. Y, tras una escucha atenta, los matices: una producción impecable que a mí me recuerda mucho a enfoques más deathmetaleros (pienso en el “Kings of Chaos” de HECATE ENTHRONED, pero sin teclados) y, también, un barniz thrashero que le sienta de maravilla, hasta el punto de que muchos pasajes de cortes del disco (lo he visto, por ejemplo, el séptimo, “This Is the Way They Choose to Die”, en el noveno, “Silent Wars” o en el décimo y último, “And to the Stars Returned”) me recuerden a los insignes ABSU y a otra banda de la casa Xtreem, ANDRALLS, cuya frenética propuesta palmuteada tiene mucho que ver con los riffs vertiginosos de AURORA BOREALIS.

Es bonito pensar que los Estados Unidos nos aportan este trabajo para recordarnos que la Suecia europea anda un poco o muerta o desorientada desde el fin de los buenos tiempos de DARK FUNERAL o DISSECTION. Que la semilla vuelve al origen, aunque entre por el Sur. En todo caso, un orgullo que el aire fresco se transmita por estas latitudes, que van convirtiéndose en el cofre de las esencias.

En 2006, la banda empezó a desplazar su temática habitual (el mundo antiguo y los mitos ancestrales) por la cosmología y la cibernética. Pero no os creáis que la lealtad a los cánones de 1993-94 se ve alterada, para nada. No busquéis (no lo hay) Techno, House o Industrial aquí, no estamos ante un proyecto como THORNS o MYSTICUM. La cosa tira más a OTARGOS a partir de “Kinetic Zero”, un álbum que apostó por la física cuántica, las nebulosas y los plegamientos del Cosmos. Y además combinado con la temática anterior: las pirámides se insertan en el miedo al vacío y las visitas de antropoides belicosos.

También percibo consonancias con otro gigante de la tradición: los inigualables (en velocidad y reflejos) NALGFAR. Quien disfrutó de discos como “Pariah” o “Teras”, tienen en este “Worldshapers” un nuevo motivo de alegría. En definitiva, un disco rápido, dinámico, que entra estupendamente, cuyo metraje es “normal” pero que parece que pase en diez minutos. Puro disfrute. Esperemos que estos señores de Maryland nos den 6 discazos más como éste que está a puntito, a puntito de salir en esta antisanta casa. No os lo perdáis.
Uretra [8.5/10]
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