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Aureole – Alunar

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 August 2019, 6:11 AM

From their Facebook page, AUREOLE is an “entity to address the cosmos of which citadel Alunar travels.” They are an Atmospheric Black Metal band based out of Portland, Oregon. According to Encyclopeadia Metallum, “Alunar” is the band’s debut album, originally released in 2014, so I suppose this is a re-issue? Well, in any case, let’s get down to the review.

“I – Citadel Alunar” opens with album, with hushed and easy tones. The guitars build into that “two-step” sound that often accompanies Black Metal. Just before the half-way mark, the sound drops to just a synthesizer with a soft, Doomy quality to it. The madness returns, with vocal wails, and sort of Funereal/Dungeon Synth sound to it. “II – The Voice of Nebular Flame” is a shorter piece. It is slow and lumbering, with a steady melody that wears on you. It offers bleakness, open space, and the unimaginable puniness of your existence to the universe around you.

“III – The Senility of the Hourglass” is a short, four-minute track, with very little “music” to go on. It’s cold and dark, and nothing moves. It would be akin to watching time pass over and endless hourglass full of sand. “IV – Crusade of NGC 5128” is a beast, at close to twelve minutes in length. Tense, thudding tones open the song, like something emitting from a black hole in space. It has a slow build, with layers added, but that grinding guitar and drum thuds dominate the song. Following the half-way mark, the sound drops again to nearly nothing. The desolate grind returns through the end of the song, followed by a long fade-out of just a few notes.

“V – Alunar Decepit” is a long closing song, opening with what sounds like winter’s cold breath along with a few bell strikes that echo out in the darkness. Atmosphere builds in the background, slowly and cautiously. The cold winds pick up a bit, leaving you in whiteout conditions. Nothing moves, nothing makes a sound, save for a single synth note. This maddening pattern continues throughout the song, threatening to drown you in your own guilt and fears.

When you talk about the vast emptiness of space, or the enormity of it, neither can compare to how this album makes you feel. You’ve opened a portal, and starred into the abyss, and are forever changed. The sheer desolation it imparts on you is singular in its mission. You feel cold, and completely alone. It crushed your very soul, and you are doomed to walk the earth thay way for the rest of your meager existence.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. I – Citadel Alunar
2. II – The Voice of Nebular Flame
3. III – The Senility of the Hourglass
4. IV – Crusade of NGC 5128
5. V – Alunar Decrepit
Markov Soroka – Everything
Record Label: Lupus Lounge


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