Review published in Heathen Harvest in June, 16, 2013, about our album Vitae Proelium. Language: English.
Aura Noctis is a band that has somehow eluded me throughout my musical journeys above and beyond. Twice before have they been reviewed on The Harvest, and both times I was brooding away on some black metal barbarism or introverted space ambient, but this third time is a charm and now I finally have the chance to review their latest album, Vitae Proelium. Aura Noctis is a neoclassical act that started out with Olga on piano and Pilar on cello while both added vocals into the mix. In Vitae Proelium, the ranks have been bolstered by Rubén on flutes, drums and vocals, Fernando on drums and Carmen on oboe. Plenty of neoclassical bands have a tendency to use way too many synthetic instruments in their music ending up with songs that sound partially monotonous and lifeless. Sometimes the use of synthetics might be charming, and I admit that my own opinion on black metal bands such asSummoning have gone from adoration to mediocrity due to the synthetic sounds becoming too clean, but here the purity of sound works on a whole different level and really brings forth the life of the songs.
The album starts slowly with “Windtro” being a slow and serene story filled to the brim with both melancholy and beauty. The album quickly gains some pace however and really starts to bloom in the title track “Vitae Proelium” with its slow but steady drumming and ominous voices that bloom out in solemn voices over a sweet melody of flutes. The album continues to evolve with the minimal and heavenly “El Cantar de las Hojas” which masterfully manages to blend vocals, flute and piano together in an effortlessly exquisite way. “Inner Chaos”, on the other hand, is more of a hefty and rigorous composition with a harder, more distinct sound — the complete opposite to the rather serene introduction. The album continues this journey between the blissful and the rough within a balance that is uncanny in many ways. This is an album bristling with diverse and varied content that spans from the enchanted “Arevaci”, which conjures imagery of faery feasts in forlorn parts of the woods, to the sad and melancholic atmosphere of “Un Lugar” with its sweet Spanish vocals that truly lift it above and beyond.
Vitae Proelium is truly a strong album and the combination of fine artistry and marvelous compositions really nails this album down as one of the best neoclassical albums of the later years. Not only does it manage to feel fresh and exciting in a scene that has, for some time now, not really done much to reinvent itself. The instruments really breathe life into each and every song of the album, and the production is excellent. This is truly a musical hydra with many different heads, each singing its own song from the depths of a shared soul. In the end, this album has been a pleasure to encounter and I give it my deepest recommendation. Vitae Proelium is a dream distilled into music and it will surely linger in my soul for many years to come.
02) Vitae Proelium
03) El Cantar de las Hojas
04) Inner Chaos
05) Dances of the Soul
07) Frater Mortis
11) Un Lugar
13) Omnia in Anima Manent
Written by: Skarsnik
Label: In the Morningside Records (Spain) / MORNING019 / CD