Nox Aeterna - Aurora Borealis (2018)

hudební novinky 2018 / music news 2018
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Nox Aeterna - Aurora Borealis (2018)

Príspevokod užívateľa Horex » 01 Jún 2024, 10:20

Nox Aeterna - Aurora Borealis (2018)

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Year : 2018
Style : Symphonic Melodic Death Metal
Country : Netherlands
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 115 mb


Bio:

Nox Aeterna is a five-headed melodic death metal band from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The band is formed by lead vocalist and guitar player Arnold Boukes, Debbie Maasdam on guitar, Erik de Beijer on bass guitar, Gerard Baai on keys and drummer James Koppelaar. Nox Aeterna is now working on a new concept album. It will take you on a journey through a cold and treacherous world. Will be released winter 2017/2018.

Album:

Nox Aeterna's latest album happens to be the same that introduced me to the band and also got me in love with their cutting, powerful, beautiful and almost symphonic death metal. I won't lie – I really liked this album and I'm saying it outright.Almost everything about it is on point – the instrumentals, the lyrics and the artwork (I didn't mention the vocals on purpose, but I'm going to get to them later). Some sides of it are weaker than others, but the album is still more than solid.I'll start with the artwork which is simply gorgeous. It's probably my favorite cover for a 2018 release so far, and it masterfully captures what the album is all about – horror, coldness and despair, but also an almost surreal type of beauty. The artist creates a landscape of cold colors and darkness, with only specks of warmth scattered through it. If anything, the painting greatly adds to the album's atmosphere and overall vibe.When it comes to the music itself and the instruments in particular, I definitely adored the guitars the most. The riffs are simple yet energetic and powerful. I remembered them long after I heard the pieces themselves. The solos are haunting and often help to enhance the song's atmosphere, speeding or slowing down depending on the events described in the lyrics. The slower parts give the listener an almost melancholic feel (probably best shown in the first track – "Chasing the North") and greatly immersed him/her into the cold, dark world presented on the album. They surely immersed me, at least.On the other hand, the drums are usually very fast, frequently turning into powerful blast beats. While the guitars easily convey the atmosphere of the northern wasteland while the plot of the album takes place, the drums show the raw aggression of what could be called the story's antagonist. They also portray desperation, brutality and the overall dark side of the harsh snowy forests which the action takes place in. The melodies created by them aren't that complex, but that isn't too bad. The masterful and technical execution of the drumming makes up for the simpler structure of it.The keyboards, when they appear, are easily noticeable and enhance the overall quality and vibe of the tracks. They also bring the whole "Aurora Borealis" closer to the symphonic side of the genre, softening the otherwise harsh, aggressive sound a little bit. Their speed is usually fast, following the tempo and rhythm set by the guitars. If I'd have to summarize their role, I'd say it is to make certain instrumental parts more melodic and bring a somewhat 'orchestral' feeling to some songs (most prominent in "Chasing the North", although there's a similar remarkable portion in "Rainbow of the Night", too).Sadly, because of the thick presence of all the other instruments, the bass remains more or less drowned out, its role being pushed to the back when compared to the guitars, for example. That's unpleasant and unexpected.The vocals... They, surprisingly, are probably my least favorite thing about the album. Arnold Boukes is by no means bad singer (he's a pretty good producer, too, given that he has mastered, mixed and recorded the whole thing). I like the guy's singing, in fact, but it stays a little bit too bland throughout the 43-minute run of "Aurora Borealis". It easily fits the more harsher vocal stereotypes of the melodeath genre. There's little to no variation in the range and style of the vocals, making them somewhat monotonous (especially when I listened to the whole album in one go). Arnold's voice is emotional and harsh, but it can tire the listener after few songs pass. That is the major weak point for the album for me, holding it back from becoming a masterpiece.In sharp contrast with the vocal performance, the story and lyrics of "Aurora Borealis" are probably one of the strongest parts of the whole thing. The album is concept-heavy and tells a dark horror story in the best vein of the genre. The first track opens with a recording of a fictional news broadcast that speaks of a group of backpackers that have gone missing in the northern, arctic regions of an unnamed country. The songs that follow build the plot up around this "lost hikers" cliche. The first two tracks follow the journey of these five people into a harsh and cold world as they push on towards the north in hopes to catch a glimpse of the auroras. The way isn't easy, but in the end the group is rewarded with the sight of the northern light marching through the skies, lavishly described in the next two songs.Sadly, the things don't go that well on the way back, and the story soon dives head on into horror. The feeling of despair and terror comes both from the unforgiving nature of the place where the characters are, and later – from the supernatural being that lurks around them. I should stay that the writing is beautiful. The lyrics are very poetic and resonate with the reader/listener, and the plot as a whole is very coherent, although it is ultimately cliched and has a lot of stereotypes to it. I could follow the story closely even without reading much of the lyrics, so that is a big plus, too. I should mentioned that the characters aren't much more than poorly described 'silhouettes', but the old man that appears in the latter half of the album is an beautiful exception from that rule. His character arc is just two songs long, but during this time he turns into a vibrant character. His loneliness, sadness and bravery helped to turn "The Northern Saga" into my favorite track, actually.If I have to summarize what I think about the album, I'd say that it's almost a masterpiece, created with both dedication and style. It easily gets my blood pumping, if anything, with its great execution of the instrumental parts. And it definitely deserves some praise and attention, despite the blandness of its vocals and the weak, drowned out bass. I can only hope that the band's next release will be as good as this one, or even surpass it, and I'm definitely looking up to it.

Line Up:

Erik de Beijer Bass
Arnold Boukes Guitars, Vocals - See also: Chalice of Oblivion
Debbie Maasdam Guitars, Vocals (backing) - See also: ex-Chalice of Oblivion
Gerard Baai Keyboards, Piano
James Koppelaar Drums (2014-present)

Tracklist:

01. Chasing the North 04:45
02. A Harsh Journey 04:20
03. Rainbow of the Night 04:18
04. Aurora Borealis 03:23
05. Lost in Darkness 04:16
06. Twist of Fate 04:48
07. Destitude Salvation 04:21
08. Old Man's Tale 04:34
09. The Northern Saga 04:32
10. The Last Awakening 04:25


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Download links for all albums only on our blog here: http://goodmetalandhar.do.am/

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Download links for all albums only on our blog here: http://goodmetalandhar.do.am/
Odkazy na stažení všech alb naleznete pouze na našem blogu zde: http://goodmetalandhar.do.am/

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