Monday, October 13, 2014


L.A. based Fallen Empire Records has a ton of cool new black metal projects with pending releases, but back in March this grim gem surfaced. Like the bulk of their roster this project is extremely dark and atmospheric yet not shy to unleash some raw doom tinged black metal. Pieced together solely by Markov Soroka, who resides somewhere in the United States. I've read things online claiming he is a teenager, if that's the case his parent's basement must be like a dungeon in Transylvania for him to have captured this chilling ambiance.

Unlike most bands of this ilk Aureole doesn't slap you with a bunch of blast beats. Indulging in setting the tone, it pays off dynamically making the heavier parts pack more of a punch. Keyboard heavy in almost a dark wave sense, the vocals sit back in a murk of distortion , often sounding as if you are just picking up some in of demonic frequency that is trying to break through from the other side. The guitars keep a static tremolo into motion while the drums set a dirge like tempo. So the end result is a depressingly blackened take on Funereal doom.

Theses song drone you into a mediative state and the first two pieces carry a similar sound. The third song "the Senility of the Hourglass" breaks it up into an even more ambient synth composition, that feels more like and interlude or an intro than an actual song. things darken up again on the eleven minute "Crusade of NGC 5128". The black metal guitars buzzing in like a swarm of bees. When the keys come in here it sounds more dark wave than say symphonic black metal. The production on this album is pretty raw, of course the more synth based moments sound good, it's the guitar sound that while unique serves as both a blessing and a curse. The guitar is often an abrasive scraping that band like Burzum have employed to get the "necro" sound, but at times when it sits oddly in the mix it sounds like a toilet being flushed from inside a black hole. Soroka is not afraid to bring the noise. In fact it could be argued if the first few minutes of the last song is music of sound effects, until the synths slowly build up into a melody. This could have been the soundtrack for Gummo if it had been set in space instead of a trailer park.

When he is making these depressive blackened funeral dirge songs, Soroka creates something that is not just solid , but impressive and flows with an emotional current I can relate to. So this is an excellent album when it focuses on songs, when it wanders off course into space noises and droning ambiance with nothing to sink your teeth into it seems like a waste of talent. Even if you were going to listen to this as one solid piece I think a little goes a long ways, even bands like Swans know when to temper that sort of thing with more substance. Granted if he is only 17 then we are off to good start here and it is not fair to compare him to a band that has been around longer than he has been alive. So I will give this album an 8.5 because I love the songs that are really songs. If you like ambient noise you might even rate it higher.

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