Above Aurora - Myriad Woes (2024)Release ID: 51787

Above Aurora - Myriad Woes (2024) Cover
Sonny Sonny / May 09, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

Above Aurora are a duo hailing from Poznan in Poland, comprising drummer "O" (Oktawiusz Marusiak) and vocalist, guitarist and bassist, "V" whose only other known alias is "KW". Forming in 2015, "Myriad Woes" is the duo's third full-length, although my own experience with the pair only encompasses their 2016 debut, Onwards Desolation, with it's blend of black and doom metal very much appealing to me.

Myriad Woes kicks off with it's longest track, the haunting "Inner Whispers" which is, essentially, an instrumental, although it utilises several voice samples of people discussing serious mental health-related issues. It takes a number of twists and turns throughout it's eleven minutes from an introspectively ominous opening post-rock build-up, laced through with mounting doom-laden tension which ultimately resolves into a blasting black metal explosion of violence. It is an incredibly thoughtfully constructed track which makes for one hell of an impactful opener and leaves the listener with decidedly disturbed emotions (well it did for me anyway). Second track, Spark, is a much shorter, more straightforward affair, with a mid-tempo doomy riff dominating and V's hoarse bark providing vocal accompaniment, before kicking into high gear for the run in. It's a decent track, and after the emotional wringer of Inner Whispers it allows the listener to get back on an even keel emotionally, although following such a titanic track it feels a little slight and almost a bit disappointing, to my ears.

Elsewhere, Above Aurora like to draw on a couple of different influences with the "bounce" of sections of "Horns of Dread" giving it a vaguely post-punk feel at times and the occasionally jangling guitar work sounding somewhat goth-influenced. I think it is also fair to point out that the doom metal component is not as overt as previously, meaning Myriad Woes isn't a genuine black doom hybrid, but rather the doominess manifests as an ominousness of atmosphere and adds heft to the black metal riffs which beefs up the overall sound. So, if pushed, I would summarise it as a mid-tempo black metal album with a particularly dark and oppressive atmosphere, laced with the occasional haunting melody that also gives vent to aggressive outbursts of blastbeat-driven violence. It is actually quite a brief album, it's five tracks amass a mere thirty-three minutes runtime, but it is so proficiently put together that no moments are wasted or superfluous and come album's end the sensation, certainly that I experienced, is one of having listened to a very substantial release that has delved into the darker recesses of the human psyche and laid them bare. Above Aurora have illustrated here that it is possible to put together a thoughtful and affecting black metal album that can still utilise melodic passages and doesn't have to rely on dissonance and avant-garde stylings to create unease in the listener, but rather achieve it through skillful songwriting and atmosphere creation. I am very much impressed at Above Aurora's development since the 2016 debut and will endeavour to keep an eye on them going forward.


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Myriad Woes
The North
Black Metal

Black Metal (conventional)

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