This summer Wolfmond Production has released sophomore release The Gold of the Aura of solo project of Ravendust from Switzerland, offering bolder ideas apart from his more classical black metal bands.
Although this release is in a way atmospheric, it is way too original to fit into typical German/Austrian/Swiss black metal scene, where atmospheric darkness and ambient elements have the same relevance as black metal foundation. Ravendust decided to give himself some space; it was his opportunity to come out from the black metal boundaries and clichés and just to go with the flow of his most intimate ideas. It’s amazing how coherently and purposefully still sounds this album; in the ocean of stylistic moves it preserves the energy without chaotic discords.
When the album starts with the first track “No God” you’ve already are drenched in a plethora of associations – atmospheric, occult, epic… and then this classical aggressive black metal emerges. But orchestral arrangements can’t agree about typical black metal, and when the thrash/punk structural patterns start to rebuild this composition, you almost forgot about the black metal. That’s it, this album is full of surprises, but no doubt, that it is founded on black metal, and everything else is just decorations for it. So we have here constant primitive, but catchy guitar riffs, raw sound and traditional screams, as well as moody aura for atmospheric harmony. But the rest isn’t so easy to describe.
The main point is, that Ravendust is oriented more towards modern trends – the controversial domain of post-black metal, where post-rock, shoegaze, dark rock, and hardcore are absolutely acceptable, without spoiling the heart of the album. This alternative rock influence is especially audible on “Among Death” and “Existence”. Sometimes you are baffled by gothic melancholy (“The Gold of the Aura”) or even distracted by ethnic flamenco motives (“Outro”). But overall rhythmic parts slightly fluctuate towards thrash/punk base, but without abnormal speed surges. Some passages sound almost like war hymns, a bit alluring on folk tunes or good old-fashioned heavy metal. The only composition with some disharmonic knock-offs “Ravendust” tries to stay sane on the verge of chaotic madness, intertwining with punk/rock ’n’ roll modern elements. Oh my god, and where’s black metal? So, we return to a previous paragraph and remind ourselves, that The Gold of the Aura is atmospheric black metal record, and the rest is just the additional content. So no worries about too avant-garde perception, this music is digestible even for stubborn metalheads.
The Gold of the Aura lacks monotonous concentration, it is moderately dynamic and is far from drab boredom, but it also doesn’t beckon to sing along, it’s too complicated to be easily remembered. Is it too aggressive or is it too contemporary polished? Is it primitive in its rawness or is it a constant mood changer? Well, actually all of those things, and still under the banner of black metal.
Release date: August 18, 2021
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