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Aoratos: Gods Without Name

One of the most unique and vibrant labels operating in the metal underground of late is Debemur Morti Productions. Once again, they have helped funnel to our ears a worthy addition, coming in the form of US black metal creation Aoratos. Being the brainchild of Nightbringer multi-instrumentalist Naas Alcameth (Kyle Spanswick), one can expect some pretty heavy, pretty dark material that challenges the bounds of black metal not so much stylistically, but in intensity. Debut album under the spell of Aoratos, Gods Without Name arrives the day after the vernal equinox, 2019, set to plunge the earth back into the gloom of midwinter faster than you can say blast beats.

Gods Without Namestarts with a long, nightmarish intro, and even when the first proper tune “Holy Mother of Terror” begins, the payoff doesn’t occur immediately. Orchestral, key-soaked percussion augmented by howling whispers pounds the listener for a good two minutes. As a long-time devotee of black metal, I must admit that my initial incarnation into the genre happened with early Dimmu Borgir albums. While Aoratos bears only fleeting resemblance to the Norwegians, the tone of the keyboards on this album takes me right back to songs like “Master of Disharmony” (Enthrone Darkness Triumphant - 1997). The horror atmosphere and the hellish tone helps the flashpoint into blasting stygian black metal here quite effectively. When the song does kick in, if you’re driving, you might start smashing your steering wheel. You might set your airbag off. Be careful.

Properly balancing the nuances of keys and screams with a truly stunning drum production, the quality continues on “Of Harvest, Scythe and Sickle Moon.” Black metal bands, for me, have to create a feeling. What that feeling can be named varies �" a lot of times it has no name. Aoratos succeed with a great production that lends clarity without sacrificing otherworldliness.

Aoratos is definitely for fans of the heavier strain of symphonic black metal (think Anorexia Nervosa, early Gehenna, early Cradle of Filth) with a very Emperor-like regality and “wall-of-sound” quality that makes repeated listens ultimately rewarding. If you’re looking for riff-led songs and guitar solos, look elsewhere. But if you love tremolo-picked, orchestral madness stacked phrase upon phrase, this is for you. The title track rips holes in space-time, its more sedate moments held aloft with active keys until the next blast.

If a complaint had to be levied, it would be that each song sort of remains on the same pathway. Considering we could name umpteen bands that follow this formula across discographies, I don’t see it as much of an issue. This band is, of course, far more Dissection than Dream Theater. “The Watcher on the Threshold” is another example of a blasting affair with some real stunning orchestral keyboard arrangements going on in the background. Howling, swirling vocals play havoc with the adventurous ivories, and there you have the essence of what Spanswick has wrought with Aoratos. Its straightforward stuff, and for those who long for the old nocturnal pulse of creepy-ass black metal but with a modern, apocalyptic edge, look no further than Gods Without Name.


Track Listing
1) Parallax, Pt. 1
2) Holy Mother of Terror
3) Of Harvest, Scythe and Sickle Moon
4) Gods Without Name
5) Thresher
6) The Watcher on the Threshold
7) Prayer of Abjection
8) Dread Spirit of the Place
9) Parallax, Pt. 2

Added: March 23rd 2019
Reviewer: Nicholas Franco
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 302
Language: english

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