Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saor - Aura (2014)

Ahh man, it's been too long since an album has sincerely made me want to seek sojourn in the comfort and unpredictability of the woods, in nature among the trees, flora, fauna, grub, moss, leaves, rivers… Well shit, you know how forests work.

Saor's Aura is some of the most gripping and earnest takes on that atavistic type black metal that I like so much, you know the type, rife with that raw and endearing naturalistic potency that lends so much life to the soundscape you can practically feel a fucking pulse. It possesses that arcane ability which seems to speak a whole other language, an elemental language lost and neglected by time. That's deep I know… Let it sink in.

I'm reminded of bands like Myrkgrav, Falls of Rauros, Alda, Kroda, Falkenbach, Wodensthrone and Panopticon, which all have that authentic outdoor presence to them, even though that's brought out in different ways by each of those bands… It feels like a gimme listing Panopticon as an example, since the entirety of the drumming on Aura is provided by none other than Austin Lunn of Panopticon, and to his credit the drumming is notably very well handled, sounding like distant gunfire and cannon fodder spewing out of the Scottish highlands.

Eric Marshall is the lad behind the one-man band and as a solo effort it's quite alright to enlist the talents of guest musicians, and on Aura, he does just that by getting help with the strings, viola, bodhrán and Gaelic female vocals. The dude clearly has a keen sense of Celtic melody and that shines through on Aura with the beauty of the melodies contrasting nicely against Eric's shrill howls, which range from what seem like resonant conversations amongst gods and wartorn distant battle-cries.

It's been a while since an album of this ilk has really galvanized an atmospheric black metal post on SHOM, so enjoy.

Here is that album on Bandcamp