Aura Of Aquila – …Amidst The Terrifying Silence

Aura Of Aquila reminds me of two other black metal bands I’m quite fond of: Xanthos and Zargof. In fact, this band is almost the perfect midpoint between those artists, though perhaps a bit more slanted towards the latter: they possess some of the folk influences of Xanthos, but the lushness and atmosphere of Zargof. The music, though, is still very unique: it is more chaotic, tormented, and less lucid than those bands, in the best way imaginable. It’s perhaps a more purely black metal band than either of those other two artists: it’s much darker, and while you couldn’t say that it’s more aggressive, there does appear to be a certain hatred behind it not present elsewhere.

The band plays a fairly raw yet melodic style of black metal that is somewhat reflective of the newer style of ambient black metal artists of the US such as Wolves In The Throne Room. The general structure, though, is more kinetic and less droning, and so reflective of a more traditionally metallic sound. Elements are presented more directly and abrasively: vocals are frantically screamed over a bed of unrestrained blasting and tremolo picking of wild, untamable, pure melodies. The riffs are truly excellent, like Zargof and early Satyricon mixed together, and they are the obvious focus of the music, though highly augmented by the uncompromising drum and vocal performances, which are truly some of the most vicious I’ve heard in recent memory. The band maintains a sense of feral beauty, though, with the clean chorus vocals and all the consistently melodic riffs which act like harsh but cool breezes in the soundstream.

Production is unprofessional but oddly satisfying: the extra bit of distortion and rawness makes the music seem more honest. Clear production wouldn’t fit the music here: it’s intentionally feral and untamed, and certainly very lonesome and outsider in nature. It’s a very solitary sort of music, like being lost in the forest for many years. The atmosphere and emotion of this EP is almost indescribable, but very powerful all the same: every element of this is very precisely placed and very effectively written. It’s an openly beautiful yet violent style of black metal that sacrifices none of its brutality in the search for deeper meaning. It’s violent and abrasive in its melody, with every fragment of beauty overdriven and forced upon the listener. Absolutely nothing about the music simply lies there. There’s no passivity. Everything that Aura Of Aquila does is violent and as fierce as possible. While the general trend of black metal has been to go in the direction of most ambient artists, making their music steadily less aggressive and forceful, Aura Of Aquila goes in exactly the opposite direction, and forces the listener to intensely feel what the musicians do. It is a very ambitious goal, and one that is channeled perfectly.

If Xanthos is music for the people living on the outskirts of the forest, and Zargof is the essence of the forest itself, Aura Of Aquila are the wolves prowling within that very forest, always hunting and striving for more. Of the artists in this style, Aura Of Aquila is easily the most aggressive and impassioned of them, and the least restrained as well. I personally love ‘…Amidst The Terrifying Silence’ because it does something that most black metal artists are unwilling to do these days: to not merely be emotional and powerful, but to lay it out completely and viciously for the listener like some sort of challenge. It is a very raw, naked, and bare music, and it’s exactly the sort of thing that black metal needs today.

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~ by noktorn on September 26, 2007.

2 Responses to “Aura Of Aquila – …Amidst The Terrifying Silence”

  1. Hey man – I’ve been hunting for this record for a while – Digital or physical copies, anything! Any chance you know where I can hunt? Help muchly appreciated.
    Thanks,

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