Aurora Borealis, "Northern Lights"
For a two-piece outfit, these guys make a lot of noise. Some of it is quite good too, though there are also a number of sections that don't help Aurora Borealis' cause. They play intricately structured blackened death metal that has a European vibe to it. Though where most bands described that way play the black metal and death metal as one sound, I feel as if Aurora Borealis alternates between the two. Some parts of songs seem like very intense black metal with the high pitched vocals and the infernal blasting drums (think Epoch of Unlight style unrelenting, though slick as goose shit brutal black metal), while others open up and hit the death metal sound right on the nose (though the vocals remain black metal). Derik Roddy and Ron Vento show incredible control over their instruments. Both demonstrate that they have the ability to change tempos quickly, play technically and even bust out traditional metal sections if they please. Along with this gift, however, is the burden of not overwhelming the listener with too many sounds at once or too many different ideas in short succession. This is quite the obstacle to avoid, and I am afraid that Aurora Borealis doesn't quite do it to my liking. Where they do, though, the result is absolutely lethal. The tracks "Draco" and "Dream God" (killer lead and bridge!!!) are perfect examples where this duo doesn't lead itself astray with technicality. If only the whole disc were like these two tracks! My only other complaint is that Aurora Borealis' album title Northern Lights just doesn't seem very strong, couldn't they have just made it a self titled album and spared us the silliness of redundancy? Overall, though it has faults, this disc is an interesting release that will have me waiting to see what this up and coming band does next.