Sunday, June 8, 2014

Saor's Aura

It seems like there are more and more one-man bands cropping up all the time, especially in the extremities of the underground.  Panopticon, Borgne, Woods of Desolation, The Fall of Every Season, Saor.  It's amazing how these artists are producing such impressive, well-rounded compositions.

So many atmospheric black metal bands have exhausted the themes of cold winters in the northern lands, dark forests in the night, and silent lakes at the coming of dawn.  Not that there's anything at all wrong with those themes (they're very appropriate for this style of music and oftentimes very moving), but it never hurts to hear something different once in a while.  This album brings something different, but something not unfamiliar.  We've heard these sounds before, but they're a little less cold, and a little less dark.  This album brings the wind to your hair.  

Also, despite its Celtic, folky leanings, there is nothing in the sound reminiscent of war.  We don't feel like we're being led into battle.  This is a good thing.  War metal is almost as bad as weightlifting metal.  Instead, parts of this album are reminiscent of Écailles de Lune - era Alcest, which is never a bad thing.  The intro to "Aura" sounds like "Sur l'océan couleur de fer" with the chanting and soft guitar melodies.

The sounds are layered together nicely.  None of the instruments, be they keyboards, piano, acoustic guitars, replicated strings, whistles, feel out of place.  Everything flows.     

This is beautifully crafted black/folk metal.  The melodies whisk you away to the hillsides of Scotland.  It's sorrowful, yet triumphant.  Rarely are black metal albums so bright, but this one is.  And the future of this band is bright.  

Northern Silence Productions has, so far, brought us three of the best albums of the year: Woods of Desolation's As The Stars, Cross Vault's Spectres of Revocable Loss (even though it's on Eyes Like Snow, Northern Silence Productions is its parent label), and now Saor's Aura.  

Keep up the good work!


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