Aura Noir formed in Oslo in 1995 as a result of Aggressor and Apollyons’ frustration with the metal underground’s trends and fads – the increasing overuse of keyboards and polished production etc. Black metal bands were turning into symphonic trite and thrash metal as such had been left for death (sic) in the late eighties. They saw a gap that needed to be filled with something real, something metal. They intended to create a band that combined influences of 80s luminaries such as Sodom, Celtic Frost, Venom, Voivod, Dark Angel etc. Thus, black thrash metal was born.
Alongside contemporary acts such as Gehennah (Swe), Infernˆ and Nocturnal Breed, Aura Noir found themselves at the forefront of a new wave of underground metal, returning to, and celebrating the eighties’ school of evil, dirty thrash metal. 'Dreams Like Deserts' was released later that same year and this mini-album featured Aggressor and Apollyon switching drums and guitar/bass/vocal duties between them on every other track. This was to become a tradition for the band, both live and on record. The black and white sleeve depicting Apollyon and Aggressor at a local graveyard, wielding beer bottles and sporting the middle finger completed the oldschool feel.
'Black Thrash Attack', their debut full-length, followed a year later, and a more apt title has hardly
graced an album. Blasphemer (ex-Mayhem) rounded out the line-up on guitars, and the trio seamlessly combined their obvious eighties’ inspirations with their undeniable songwriting knack. ‘Black Thrash Attack’ is still revered by many fans as the ultimate Aura Noir album.
On the 1998 follow-up 'Deep Tracts of Hell', the band broadened their horizons, adding new filthy elements to their sound and going for a rawer approach, resulting in one of the ugliest and most volatile albums ever. It was also written and recorded solely by Apollyon and Aggressor, with Blasphemer concentrating on Mayhem at the time.
It would take six years until ‘The Merciless’ arrived and with a dry, in-your-face production , and clocking in at less than 26 minutes it was Aura Noir destilled and refined to the bone. The album was hailed by fans and press alike, and half of the songs on that album is with them on their live-set today.
In 2008 Aura Noir released their fourth effort, ‘Hades Rise’, with Blasphemer, and Danny Coralles of Autopsy contributing on lead guitars. Following Aggressor’s 2005 accident, rendering him unable to play drums it was the first album to feature Apollyon drumming on all songs. With their most diverse material yet and a dirty, organic sound - not to mention the most absurd endorsement list ever - it was an immediate underground hit and a critics’ favourite that year. Live, they enlisted the help of Obliteration drummer extraordinaire Kristian “Tank” Valbo, and soon Aggressor would return to the stage on guitar and vocals, completing the ultimate Aura Noir live line-up.