One of the most eagerly awaited returns in this 2012 was definitely that of Lunar Aurora after five years of silence following the release of Andacht, for the writer one of the best black metal albums ever. Today the group is reduced to a duo, consisting of Aran, on this occasion lacking the brotherly support of Sindar, and Whyrd, who rejoined the line-up after leaving it on the occasion of the last record. It is inevitable to wonder, whenever a band returns to the scenes after a long silence, whether this decision stems from a newfound artistic vein or rather from simple commercial reasons. To settle such doubts, already dispelled in part by the style of ours, which is light years away from any “chart” temptation, the choice to compose the lyrics in Bavarian dialect may suffice, which, moreover, makes it even more complicated to obtain some information regarding the lyrical content of the record. That being said, the announced return to the scenes of the German band has undoubtedly provoked considerable expectations on the part of its loyal admirers even if, often, excessive expectations end up compromising an objective analysis of new works, as the mind and heart instinctively go looking for comparisons with the past rather than focusing on the present. Thus the first 2-3 takes on Hoagascht proved particularly hostile precisely because they lacked those more immediate cues that had characterized the previous album. But, if anything was needed, once again those who argue that both adequate dedication and, above all, a great deal of patience are necessary to fully appreciate the compositional artistry are right. Indeed, after repeated listening, in the course of which from time to time the record almost reluctantly revealed its most hidden sides, Hoagascht finally revealed itself in all its fascinating beauty. Achieving the stellar levels of Andacht was already at the outset an objectively arduous task, despite this, however, Lunar Aurora‘s work proves to be of sublime quality, for the German band has not lacked the masterful ability to forge dark and exciting sounds. So what has changed from the previous work ? It is true that, probably, the emotional peaks that found their sublimation in tracks such as Findling or Gluck are not reached but, on the other hand, it must be said that Aran and Whyrd with Hoagascht have tried to convey in a different way the usual atmospheres by alternating more than in the past the impact of guitar riffs with more rarefied or experimental passages. A natural transformation that demonstrates, while not making extraordinary changes, how much Lunar Aurora, with their return, have tried first and foremost not to remain entrenched in Andacht‘s positions. Precisely the high level shared by all the tracks makes it difficult to mention any one in particular: if I really had to make a choice, I would highlight Nachteule, which possesses an imprint similar in some respects to Der Pakt, or Beachgliachda, a track with a swinging progression marked by very slow parts bordering on doom and abrupt accelerations characterized by original keyboard work; but also Sterna with its melancholic harmonies and Håbergoaß, which stands out as the most cadenced episode of the lot, are by no means inferior. Accompanied by a production up to the mark, able to enhance every instrument but also to emphasize those characteristic sounds that sometimes seem to come from a dreamlike dimension, 2012’s Lunar Aurora master the material with ease, losing something in immediacy but gaining in cleanness and compositional elegance; certainly with this work they maintain and consolidate the peculiarities who have made them unique within the scene (one of their songs is immediately recognizable among 1,000 others, I don’t know for how many other bands the same can be said). Probably due to coming from a country where black metal is not such an entrenched genre, as opposed to Scandinavia, the Bavarians have never garnered a success comparable to the extraordinary quality expressed in their works; wishing that this could be the right time, we welcome with extreme satisfaction the return to the scene of one of a historic band, just hoping that we will not have to wait another five years to hear new material.

2012 – Cold Dimensions