Some of the most compelling music hides in the recesses of Bandcamp, Spotify, or other music streaming and/or purchase sites. AURA’s new EP Hamartia is one such piece.
The European heavy band feels difficult to pin down. Their blend of musical themes creates an experience that feels entirely the band’s own. While maintaining the grandiose feel often associated with doom metal, the band infuses energy and melody that grinds its way to intensity at times. The vocals feel different from straight up black metal screams, keeping the music out of that box too.
The songs carry the listener along like a white water rafting experience, pretty much never letting up. At the same time, though, the band maintains a curious sense of control. There’s no veering off the edge, so to speak, as the band sounds like they’re conducting a vast metaphorical metal orchestra. In the end, it’s pretty epic sounding — in the literal sense of the word. Oxford Dictionaries defines epic as “heroic or grand in scale or character” when it’s used as an adjective, and that’s exactly the sense that AURA gets at on Hamartia.
You can close your eyes and get lost in this music. The songs’ intensity opens up a portal to wherever you’d like to go without ever leaving where you’re listening. Whereas some off the grid metal in the same vein as AURA feels very much tied to nature, Hamartia‘s metal feels more like the fusion of man with “nature,” so to speak. It’s a dynamic personal experience to listen to the release, as it presents heavy music in ways perhaps previously unexplored. The mind floats above this simmering pot of complex emotion and musical artistry while listening as the band blasts open new paths for us to explore.
That cuts to the core of what music’s all about really. Looking at it one way, we’re not making it for anyone but ourselves. It’s our self-assertion and our time to shine.
Considering all of these aspects, Hamartia is an incredibly effective work that accomplishes something grand. The musicians behind AURA packed an enveloping whirlwind into just three songs.