Lunar Aurora

Being a purchase out of blind confidence, I was rather displeased when I listened to this at my place. I found the whole record rather bland, without any innovating ideas. How unperceptive and presumptuous of me, because this album has proven to be very, very profound. After months of silence it somehow got back into my CD player and suddenly I noticed I DID have some affinity for this release. Curious, I listened to it, and again, and again. It took quite a long time to sink in but after various listens I knew for sure: this is a great CD and I was very happy I didn't trade it off.

The concept of the band evolves around the moon, that mystic symbol from the dark past which influenced people to follow the ways of the wolf. This album has nothing to do with lycanthropy though, rather the moon is worshipped in a spiritual way. The band succeed quite well to turn this concept into music and this CD is therefore best experienced at night, "when the moon is on the wave" (aye, our noble Lord Byron said it well...).

The somewhat misty production is of secondary importance but increases the "nocturnality" of the album greatly. The songs do not have conventional structures but rather evolve around a few ideas, the melodies flowing from one to another, somewhat similar to Emperor's brilliant "In The Nightside Eclipse". The music however is based on different emotions than Emperor's epic, but in these aspects the albums are similar: the flowing of the songs around a few ideas, telling a tale, and the nocturnal feelings both albums call forth. Strange transitions occur between relentless high-speed parts and atmospheric passages, this sounds like a greatly overused cliche but it is not (heh). The synthesizer is somewhat redundant in a few songs, only adding another layer of sound to increase the atmosphere that the intricate melodies already contain, but sometimes it is used to great effect, playing a wholly different melody over the guitar lines, according to strange ethereal scales, so it seems. Vocals are an addition and an enrichment when multiplied to create the effect of being outside in a vast space located in the spiritual universe of the moon, surrounded by spirits of the night and wailing.

Somehow this album gets more and more on me every time I listen to it and I could drool on and on for several megabytes... All in all it would be a great addition to your collection of metal. A work of art.

© 1998 dwaallicht