Aara - Triade I: Eos
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Release Date: 26th March 2021
Record Label(s): Debemur Morti Productions
Berg - Guitars, Bass
Fluss - Vocals
J. - Drums
Aara - Naufragus
Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Fathum, Naufragus, Nimmermehr, Das Wundar, Effugium
Debuting in 2019 with So Fallen Alle Tempel, Aara have had an incredible work rate, releasing a full length every year since. The band have crafted an intently mysterious and atmospheric sound similar to Basel based peers Schammasch. Channelling the old school black metal epic, Triade I: Eos is a journey through realms unknown. A rich tapestry of music that seems to harness the elements to create a soaring soundscape that captures the imagination, which is hardly surprising as the band member stage names "Berg" and "Fluss" translate from German to "Mountain" and "River", respectively. Given the quality of 2020s En Ergô Einai, Triade I: Eos is an exciting prospect, could this be the first instalment of a trilogy? The speculation is palpable but one thing is certain, the band's creative output is incredible as this is their third full length in 3 years.
There is something haunting yet beautifully ethereal about the album, despite the raging black metal, the choral vocals in songs like Nimmermehr and Das Wundar catch your attention immediately. Although they are there for atmospheric purposes, they feel like they belong in a fantasy epic or a long since abandoned cathedral where their ghostly voices can echo amongst the stars. These voices almost sound like they have been carried on the wind as they seem to sway in each ear. The album becomes highly immersive very quickly, the soaring melodies require awe and wonder as they grow and evolve throughout the album. The intricate subtleties in the harmonies are something to be marvelled, as they are finely crafted for maximum atmospheric effect. The mesmeric nature of the album also feels quite ritualistic, the band pulls out all the grandiose elements of their sound and multiplies them tenfold to create deeply emotive textures and soundscapes. Album opener Fathum is a prime example of this, the first minute and forty-five seconds of the nine minute epic are filled with a slowly evolving electronic soundscape. Setting a highly charged and tense scene before releasing the pressure valve and launching into a cacophony of riffs, blast beats and melody. What Aara does very well is create a sense of space, the imagery that is conjured up in the imagination is as spectacular at the band's costumes. There is a real melancholy to the music, and given the band's lyrical concepts of the self-destruction of humankind, it resonates with you on a vey deep level as we see this ever growing doom appear more spectacularly in the corner of our eyes each day. The harsh, high pitched vocals also give the melancholy a sinister edge, as they screech into the void it gives the impression of pain and despair. The way the band transition between sections is effortless and incredibly well structured compositionally. There is nothing jarring between the chaotic, all out black metal sections and the slower, tense atmospheric sections. This consistency is present through out the album, as the songs transitions into one another, Triade I: Eos is a cohesive orchestration of complex emotions that feast on existential fear and dread associated with the inevitable slow death of our species caused by our species. Tantalusqual is probably the most intriguing song on the album, as it is the one that most resembles this ritualistic chanting. A sermon of destruction delivered in the medium of catchy lead melody and vicious blast beats. Album closer Effugium is the absolute pinnacle of the album, combining all the aforementioned elements into one frantic seven minute epic that stirs the soul. The crushing melancholy and uneasy beauty collide with such a force it is the perfect closer to such an incredible album. Overall, Triade I: Eos is an expansive, well constructed and intricately composed album that shows off all the band's flair and creativity. It feels fresh and is always moving, tearing itself away from the sometimes stagnant formula that atmospheric black metal finds itself in. Here's to hoping that this album is part of an incredible trilogy!
The production, to put it very simply is phenomenal. Huge amount of space within its expansive soundscape and everything is layered with a purpose in mind. The incredible tightness of the album's sound is breathtaking. The drums are a personal highlight, the kick is devastatingly bass heavy and drives the atmosphere with unrelenting ferocity and the snare sounds more like a death metal snare than a black metal one. It snaps so aggressively through the discord and chaos it is hard not to notice as it accents and drives the rhythms forward. The cymbals seem to shimmer in the background, adding to the multi-faceted and intricate layers. The rhythm guitar tones are dialled in perfectly, capturing the aggression of the tremolo riffs but also being distorted enough as to not disrupt the immersive atmosphere. The lead tones cut through the mix like crystal so the melancholic beauty of the melodies can resonate with the listener's very soul. The bass fills out any low end areas and gives the songs an extra pit of power. Overall, the mix captures the music brilliantly and definitely aids the grandiose feel of the music.
If you fancy some highly atmospheric black metal that stirs the soul with it's beauty despite the harrowing message behind it, this is an album for you!
Aara - Triade I: Eos