Sunday, 26 October 2014

Saor "Aura" (2014)

Saor is a one-man-band project inspired by the landscapes and cultural heritage of the Scottish highlands. This record immediately revealed itself upon my first listen, the rich atmosphere sets an immersible tone for the Celtic folk influences to shine through. Its not to often an album can be instantly appealing, but its always a pleasant surprise. Since my first listen everything that became apparent about this sound has been true of the record and i have thoroughly enjoyed "Aura" the bands second full length. 

The five songs that make up "Aura" are lengthy, passionate epics that don't progress as much as they immerse in theme and inspiration, often keeping your attention locked in. There is variety in pace, instrumentation and composition that keeps a steady mood with great maturity. The reoccurring flute leads are delightful and the instrumental writing is detailed, lots of care has been put into the drums which were a highlight for me, they are never boring, always finding fills and cymbals to color the demanding blast beat nature of Black Metal songs. Alongside the usual arsenal are strings, flutes, bagpipes & violins bringing home the Celtic heart of these songs, there presence in these songs is a work of art and beauty.

The production feels flawless, the mix finds the balance for each instrument to shine without anything feeling overpowered. The strings are both subtle and powerful, chiming in just under the guitars they have a powerful effect on these songs and sit in a place where they can be in or out of focus depending on what your listening to. They help guide the emotional narrative of these songs, where the guitars and drums build the atmosphere alongside them. The unity of all the instruments on this record is stunning, guttural growls and screams add the human element and on "The Awakening" distant cultural chants climax the song in awe. Altogether we have a very complete and defined record that creates a beautiful listening experience every time.

Favorite Songs: Aura, Farewell
Rating: 7/10