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Scarlet Aura – Hot ‘N Heavy

Scarlet Aura
Hot ‘N Heavy
by Kevin Burke at 09 November 2018, 9:46 PM

The latest release by the Romanian four-piece SCARLET AURA certainly lives up to its name; “Hot ‘N Heavy”.  Had this recording been released three decades ago, it would have not sounded out of place, SCARLET AURA wear their influences respectively on their armored sleeves, with hints of the golden-era of Metal given a 21st-century makeover. From the outset the album opens with the fitting “The Future Becomes Our Past” a demonic, electronic haze, when that lifts the anthem soaked “Hail To You!” launches and the album reveals itself with pounding double-bass drums, soaring electric guitar riffs and of course the vocals,  Aura Danciulescu gives a performance here and throughout the album which is the right balance between menacing and acrobatic in delivery.

SCARLET AURA are throwing fuel on the bonfire of nostalgia, they are fast, direct and in your face, the title track “Hot ‘N Heavy” is a riff-fest of delight which twists and turns in a head-banging assault to the senses. The nearest to a ballad is “Fallin’ To Pieces”, even for an anti-love-song the band cannot stay quiet or play at any other volume than excessive, though always melodic. Same can be said for “Light Be My Guide”, a reflective piano opening before layered guitar riffs explode, here is Danciulescu at her most tender, holding back the screams of rebellion until two-and a half minutes in when the song changes volume and tempo.

Tracks such as “Silver City” are that classic-style sound which will appeal to those who grew up in that golden-era of DIO and IRON MAIDEN, lyrics themed with ‘angels’ and ‘demons’ really reach into the richness of the genre, here the band is at their very best, waging a war of epic proportions. “Let’s Go F@#ckin’ Wild” does exactly what it might suggest as the band relocate their style to mid-80s Los Angeles via MOTLEY CRUE, reminiscent of their original “Kickstart My Heart”, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. The closer “New Horizons” has a shared vocal, it is the weak point on the album as it veers slightly from the theme of the tracks which came before and loses a little of the albums impact, that said the guitar playing of Mihai Danciulescu saves it, the multi-layered soloing works extremely well, the quick-tapping is used in all the relevant areas and not just sporadically.

Throughout the production is faultless, everything is present and given the right amount of space, the touches of synth are exactly that, not heavy in the mix but enough to give that extra depth to the musicianship. “Hot ‘N Heavy” may at times appear short on originality but it makes up for it in the delivery and the approach taken to each song, yes it is old-school but perhaps albums such as this serve a purpose for Heavy Metal to survive into the next century.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Future Becomes Our Past
2. Hail To You!
3. In The Name Of My Pain
4. Hot ‘N Heavy
5. Fallin’ To Pieces
6. Glimpse In The Mirror
7. You Bite Me I Bite Back
8. Hate Is Evanescent, Violence Is Forever
9. Silver City
10. Light Be My Guide
11. Let’s Go Fuckin’ Wild
12. To New Horizons
Lineup:
Aura Danciulescu - Vocals
Rene Nistor - Bass
Mihai Danciulescu - Guitars/Producer/Sound Engineer
Sorin Ristea - Drums/Vibe Supplier
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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Edited 21 January 2020
 

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