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Aurium – The 2nd Son

Aurium
The 2nd Son
by Joseph Brewer at 01 July 2020, 5:59 PM

Formed in 2012, symphonic metal band AURIUM has released their third album “The 2nd Son” through Art Gates Records. Previous records "Still Life" (2015) and "The Silent Moon" (2016) helped to solidify the dark, atmospheric, and serene sound that has gained them notoriety in their hometown of Serbia, Belgrade and given them the fuel they need to tour around the area. A five piece band, AURIUM has shown the ability to write epic music that can cross the soundscape of light and dark.

The 2nd Son” kicks off with the opening track and single, “Asylum”. The song starts off heavy, Julius Velker on guitars letting the riff roar, while Alexandar Mušicki on drums marches on with some heavy bass drum action. Then, vocalist Dragica Maletić comes in and we get the first taste of her incredible voice. Fans of Simone Simons of EPICA will find a natural love for Dragica of AURIUM. Their voices have a similar range in that in a single song they can switch between high, clean singing and beautiful operatic ranges. In this track, for instance, Dragica sets the bleak and dreary tone by singing low in her register which is meant to put the listener on edge. The song is about the abused being stuck and misunderstood in an asylum. But all that sorrow gets pushed aside when the chorus is reached, as brightness and hope shine through, Dragica urging for strength in the face of adversity.


One noticeable strength of AURIUM is that they have a dedicated keyboard player, Siniša Mladenović. His sound comes through many times on the album and usually adds that extra musical element that is so often needed in these gothic symphonic style albums. Whether it be in the form of orchestra or synth, Mladenović brings just enough to each track to give it that additional emotional edge or upbeat accent.

One of the other songs on “The 2nd Son” that stood out to me was “Dead Landscapes”. While the first few tracks are great, they definitely follow an expected sound and structure; which is not a bad thing. But it’s always nice to be surprised and caught off guard on an album like this. AURIUM brings some fun, unique moments in this song that made me want to listen to it again and again. It starts off mid-tempo, the sound pushing forward but restrained and deliberate. Miloš Jovanović is allowed to shine in this instance as the pulsing bass groove is felt like a heartbeat throughout. Then, about halfway through the song it gets quiet and Dragica takes over in a vocal solo. On one side, she sings sweetly, while on the other side being complimented by “Snow White” style high notes, quick and full of vibrato. That comes crashing when Mušicki hits with the blast beat drums and the whole band leans into this dark breakdown. The song then finishes on a high epic note. Overall, a very cool and creative song.

Fans of epic gothic symphonic metal will definitely enjoy “The 2nd Son” by AURIUM. They are not redefining the genre in any way, but their music is well written and engaging. Most of their songs hit that sweet spot of 3 - 4 minutes long, but one track “Phasianidae” hits impressively at almost 9 minutes long. Really though, front woman Dragica shines and carries this album to an above average level. Her range is incredible, both singing and opera are used appropriately, and she even throws in a few growls to really heighten that dark, epic vibe.

Favorite Songs: “Asylum”, “Dead Landscapes

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Asylum
2. Leaden Skies
3. Curtain’s Fall
4. Dead Landscapes
5. Garbage Eater
6. Timekeeper
7. Phasianidae
8. Nodus Tollens
9. Reminiscence
10. The Silent Wake
11. Son of the Morning Star (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Dragica Maletić – Vocals
Siniša Mladenović – Keyboards and Synths
Julius Velker – Guitars
Miloš Jovanović – Bass
Alexandar Mušicki – Drums
Record Label: Art Gates Records
     


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