Austere are back. The Australians return with their third studio album – and they are as laconic and without any pretensions as when they went into extended hibernation after the release of their sophomore full-length “To Lay like Old Ashes” in 2009. Entitled “Corrosion of Hearts”, the new tracks stay true to the path that Austere have carved for themselves out of solid black metal bedrock.
The multi-layered and harsh yet often dreamlike guitar tapestries woven by Mitchell Keepin are complemented by the emotive drumming of Tim Yatras, who also contributes keyboard splashes and cinematic soundscapes. Both also contribute vocals that cover the full spectrum of their genre and range from throat-ripping growls via desolate screams to clear voices. In the typical manner of these Australians, their songs are still meandering, flowing streams of musical thought of epic proportions.
The sonic heritage of Austere is apparent. Their inspiration derives from the early Norse black metal scene and its depressive offspring, but also stretches further to the gentler and more emotional approach of blackgaze. Despite or maybe even because of the width of the influences, the Australians have found their own answers to the musical paradox inherent in this style, which is both fast and slow, aggressive and melancholic.
On “Corrosion of Hearts”, Austere’s brand of black metal has evolved into a more mature and defined form of expression, which is hardly surprising as both musicians were active in other bands during their hiatus. The duo also took more time to craft their new songs into exactly what they were supposed to sound like than before. With greater experience comes more determination.
Watch the official music video for the first track “Sullen” below.
“Corrosion of Hearts” will be released on April 28th, 2023, by Lupus Lounge (CD, LP & Digital). Pre-order the album here.
2. A Ravenous Oblivion
3. The Poisoned Core
Austere grew out of an existing solo-project of multi-instrumentalist and singer Desolate alias Mitchell Keepin, who joined forces with drummer, keyboarder, and vocalist Sorrow aka Tim Yatras in 2005. The Australians set out to explore the dark emotional corners of so-called depressive black metal, but soon began to broaden their musical horizon into new territories.
Their signature frost-bitten guitar sound, alongside high-pitched screams and wails already marked Austere’s debut album “Withering Illusions and Desolation” (2007). Those elements remained staples of the band on the two well-regarded split-releases “Only the Wind Remembers / Ending the Circle of Life” (with LYRINX, 2008) and “Bleak…” (with Isolation, 2008). Austere reissued their part of the former on the EP “Only the Wind Remembers” (2008). In 2009, the Australians delivered their sophomore album “To Lay like Old Ashes” (2009) with a refined production. They kept their sound raw, but also added more melancholic moments and evolved into an overall more melodic approach.
Although the Australians had quickly attracted an equally loyal and substantial following during their first few years, Austere decided to go on a prolonged hiatus before resuming activities in 2021. The reformed duo found themselves in the unexpected but very welcome situation that their reputation and fanbase had grown considerably during their absence by word of mouth.
With rekindled passion and a clear vision, Austere are finally ready to release their eagerly and long-awaited third full-length “Corrosion of Hearts”. Beautiful yet proudly grim, a fierce black storm rises from Down Under.