V. is a Chilean musician who was also part of the now dissolved Mar De Grises, perhaps the biggest band ever born in doom from the South American country. Aura Hiemis is the moniker of his personal project that comes, with Silentium Manium, to the fourth full length: the genre often assumes, here, a more ethereal form but at the same time guitar oriented and this pushes the album to have a large portion purely instrumental. The approach to the matter of V. is certainly more emotional than technical, so the predominance of the six-string instrument is a harbinger of melancholy acoustic arpeggios, as well as songs marked by painful melodic lines of soloist matrix. That said, however, are the songs sung to take a key role in the economy of the album as they are certainly more effective and impacting at an emotional level: perhaps what is missing a bit ‘is a certain continuity in this sense, because it is undoubted that the instrumental tracks, while having their own function within the development of the work, sometimes seem to break the tension that can create two jewels like Sub Luce Maligna and especially Danse Macabre, funeral track of great thickness. Silentium Manium is definitely a good listen for those who appreciate these sounds, and offers certainty that V. is a musician of great compositional sensitivity and, above all, intent to follow its own path that leads to those ruins immortalized in the cover, designed to symbolize the impossibility of rebuilding what time and neglect have permanently crumbled. Note also the presence of what should be a ghost track, since in the booklet the declared tracks are ten, while after a prolonged silence starts an eleventh track, another remarkable song in which V., shows a growl of considerable depth as well as a natural propensity to create guitar lines really evocative. Silentium Manium is a great album, even if a melodic and inspired death doom like the one offered for long stretches by Aura Hiemis would be further enhanced if developed on a few tracks of consistent duration rather than distributed over a dozen tracks, five of which, those entitled Maeror Demens, are instrumental fragments valuable but that, as mentioned, end up breaking up excessively the work. The album is still highly recommended to those who love the genre, as long as you approach it with the right patience since, precisely because of these characteristics, the assimilation is completed only after several steps in the player.
2017 – Endless Winter
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