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Lunar Aurora: Hoagascht

Lunar Aurora remaining virtually unknown black metal savants will entice the new and enrage the familiar. Their 9th record, Hoagascht, and first coming out of hiatus, is a musical representation of Bavaria, hence the specific East Franconian German dialect assumed by the lyrics. Now in light of that it's hard to say anything on here is calculated or meticulously shaped because it sounds like genuine spontaneity. All the tracks are specifically discernible, all their layers flowing as if it was recorded live in one take (even their drum machine sounds amazing), all the nature samples inflect each song's ambience, and the electronic (!) elements somehow don't sound out of place. This type of writing should make any composer jealous.

A perennial element when going through each track is the word "unexpected." One thing this implies is that the guitars don't sound like the foundation, but a part of the sum, secondary to atmosphere. This may be why the record sounds overall a lot less "deep" and dark than Andacht, even quieter you could say. Its own intensity lies in the subtle layering, like in "Sterna" where you have this crescendo piano sound that consistently changes feeling counter to what the guitars are doing, not distracting but almost like a side-quest from your journey. "Beagliachda" epitomizes layering and masterful build just through its sampling, wherein the rocks falling down the hill segues into subtle wind, but over top some heavily effected lead guitar intensifies the disparate feel as owl shrieks come and go. They're really enjoying building these soundscapes that inevitably make them more black in many ways.

What will throw a lot of people off, however, is their inclusion of electronic-esque key sounds. Right from the first melody, the band begins the album with a bowed sound (possibly effected guitar) on top of a phasered, staccato outpouring of atmosphere before the black seeps through the cracks. The melody plays throughout what ends up being a surprisingly beautiful track. "Nachteule" and "Håbergoaß" follow suit in a way; "Nachteule" has an unexpected major progression, almost like the slower Naxzul tracks, but also features a sporadically warping effect to retain the dreamy owl hoots, a piano intertwines with a phaser tremolo guitar, it's creepily comforting. There's a warm horn section over blistering pace in "Håbergoaß," and juxtaposed next to industrial percussion à la Blut Aus Nord, its an emotional vortex.

The album breathes life into imagination, and whether its doomy, fast and cold, or serene, the amorphousness is incredibly relatable in a cosmic sense. On top of that, they get away with having an electronic backdrop throughout the closer "Reng" because they've become so attune to the extempore of writing. Their instincts align with their listeners' subconsciously, and thus they are successful in their genre bending and sampling. They've been at the helm of their genre for years as far as I'm concerned, and Hoagascht's blasphemies against purists is ironically as black metal as it gets ideologically. You'll look forward to some quality forest time with this one.

Track Listing
1. Im Gartn
2. Nachteule
3. Sterna
4. Beagliachda
5. Håbergoaß
6. Wedaleichtn
7. Geisterwoid
8. Reng

Added: April 2nd 2012
Reviewer: Danny Heater
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2085
Language: english

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