Hell yes! The moment you see that new Vaura is out, you have no choice but to push the play button and enter your all time favorite escapism state. 5 years have passed since the band released their 2nd album – The Missing. And here we are, listening to the band’s latest release – Sables that’s going to be released in April 26th via Profound Lore Records. I mean, with bands like Vaura, you know what you’ll get from the start! The band is labeled as avant-garde, post-black metal but my impression is that the band’s roots are dug deep into the realm of 80s synth pop and dark-wave music. And yeah, Sables is minimalistic in nature where you won’t hear the full shredding capabilities of Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia). For those who aren’t familiar with the band, the lineup is: Toby Driver (Asva, Kayo Dot) on bass, Kevin Hufnagel on guitar, Charlie Schmid on the drums + electronics (Tombs, Karyin Crisis’ Gospel of the Witches) and Josh Strawn (ex-Blacklist, ex-Religious to Damn) on vox & guitars.
Emotion-wise, the whole album is driven by melancholy. Josh Strawn’s vocals and the overall vibe and atmosphere of this release irresistibly reminds of early works of Depeche Mode. That’s what came to me when i first heard the album opener, Espionage. Gentle guitar riffs and heartbreaking vocals are the basis of this track. Expect nothing but soothing music. Far from aggressive but this stuff is simply clouded by darkness. The same goes for the 2nd track – Zwischen. Those background keyboards are piercing through the whole thing like a knife to the soul. And definitely, the electronics are an essential part of this album. Guitar parts have no leading role in this song but every guitar/bass lick on this album is in place. And boy, they do deepen the dreamy madness on the album. The Lightless Ones has this cheerful beat going on right from the start, even though the song title suggests something different. This track sounds as if it was recorded during the period of The Missing album. Killer, guitar-oriented track with some damn good singing! From this song onwards, the whole album becomes more guitar oriented. The Ruins (Hymne) starts with a lively guitar progression as well . As a matter of fact, Josh Strawn is a really good singer to say the least! No Guardians is a cheerful, happy-sounding song when compared to the rest of the tracks. And it incorporates some keyboards and acoustic guitars in the background. And it has some sweet, short leads. This one is probably one of the best songs that can be heard on this album. Pure Vaura! Staggering! Eidolon continues to show the guitar mastery at work. Gentle and beautiful chord progressions blend perfectly with the singing. Basilisk (The Infinite Corpse) starts with some eerie samples in the background. The moment where the guitars become more involved in the album is like as if Vaura took of the veil and showed its true face. And when combined with this noisy electronic stuff, you get a pretty dark and brutal mix. Gotta love the keyboard part that closes the track! When I look deeper into this album, the vocals and synth parts of the music irresistibly remind of Rational Youth’s 1982 album – Cold War Nightlife. The last song, Sables has a chilling bass part that gets louder as time goes by. This is, no doubt, one of the heaviest tracks from the whole damn thing. Probably because of the involvement of double bass.
Vaura’s Sables is a great album no matter what parameters are involved. The first three songs or so are bit too gloomy but, like I underlined, when those guitars became more involved in the whole thing, everything came into place. Our following will have another great record to listen to (as we are all anxiously waiting for the new Gorguts album to come out!) And let’s make it simple, buy this album!
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