Since this is the first album reviewed on our blog I really wanted to star t with my “best album of 2014”, so far.
I’m talking about Aura by the Scottish one-man band called Saor.
Saor (formed by Andy Marshall) offers here 5 tracks of the finest mixture between black metal and Celtic music, for a total running time of about an hour.
The album starts mystically , with soft Gaelic women voices; but after a few seconds the drums (beautifully played by A.Lunn from Panopticon, another great act, by the way) appear furiously along with distorted guitars as well, but the feeling remains the same.
For the entire duration of this masterpiece you can imagine to be on a mountaintop, while you’re watching the vast landscapes that surround this almighty valley. And you can see lakes, green fields and a touch of snow on the mountains…and yes, of course it’s the same picture included in the booklet.
Then comes the title track Aura, the longest one and probably also the best one. But it’s so hard to find the weakest point of this album, almost impossible.
Further on we came across The Awakening with its awesome intertwined acoustic guitar intro and a really outstanding drum. Farewell and Pillars of The Earth, the last track of this magnificent album, a perfect closure to this little journey through the mountains of Scotland.
What else can I say, I worshipped each and every track of this album. Every time I listen to it I discover new details and new shades that I didn’t hear before.
This record gives me feelings that only few others can give me.
I’d suggest Aura to anyone, from black metalheads to folk and celtic music fans.
If I had to make a complain about it I’d say that is too short….c’mon I’m not satisfied with only one hour of this amazing music, I need more!
Ok, no, seriously. My only complaint is that at some point all the songs may sound a bit similar to each other, but this is very irrelevant towards the whole album.
So, I’m really curious to hear something new about this man, but in the meantime I’ll keep on worshipping this masterpiece called Aura.
Andy Marshall: everything unless stated below.
Austin Lunn: Drums & Bodhran
Johan Becker: Strings
Nevena Krasteva: Viola on “Farewell”
Beth Frieden: Gaelic female voice