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Aldaaron are a French pagan/black metal band. They released their second full-length, Suprême Silence, back in April. It was my first encounter with the band.
This was one of those records I was drawn to just because the album art looked so cool. At least, it appeals to my sensibilities. But the music behind the cover was worth the time. As is often true of black metal bands that hover on the borderline with pagan metal, the songs here are relatively long and mostly move at a relaxed pace. There are livelier sections, but the album rarely rushes. Personally I like that quality. It's not the best if you're aiming for bash-your-skull-in intensity, but it makes for a pleasurable listening experience. The production, too, falls into a pleasant middle-ground between clarity and hostility.
This record has a solid amount of variety, as some tracks definitely carry more black metal than others. The pagan metal end of their sound features keyboards/synths to an extent that walks right on the border of being too much, while the more black metal tracks lean primarily on traditional metal instrumentation. The vocals are solid throughout; they are not particularly exceptional, but they get the job done just fine. The guitar work actually falls into a similar vein of being very slid and enjoyable without really blowing my mind.
The standout on this record is probably the drumming, which is fast and intense while remaining versatile enough to bend and flex with the differing sides of the music. Throughout, I kept finding my ear drawn to the drums to an extent that they dominated my attention on some tracks.
All in all, this was a good record. I enjoyed it, and I'd listen to it again. It didn't jump out at me as being anything truly masterful or essential, but I'd never discourage someone from giving it a whirl themselves.
(Originally posted on: beardsetc.blogspot.com)
French Alps Capital, Grenoble is a city whose history runs for millennia, all the way back to Gauls. Located at the foot of huge plateaus, between Vercors and Chartreuse, its landscapes are breathtaking and always have inspired artists. It’s with these premises in mind that we need to address French band Aldaaron, originating from Isère. Strongly inspired by Immortal and Taake (also referring to Sorcier des Glaces, well known in our cold regions), the quartet offers us a good cold black metal with their second album called Suprême Silence. Listening to it allows us to almost feel the gusts of wind that sweep the frozen snow-capped peaks. In this summer marked by endless heat wave, that’s more than welcome.
Working in the fairly saturated pagan black metal registry, Aldaaron beautifully stands out with this excellent album. Effective from beginning to end, band takes us on an epic trek starting gently with Renegade, with an acoustic guitar intro accompanied by a slight breeze, before throwing blasts and decibels. Moods are built with high notes guitar arpeggios, supported by a second guitar and a solid drumming. Keyboards are used to add atmospheric elements, but never take precedence over other instruments. Title track is the best example, with its vaporous introduction, followed by a long harmonic – often brutal – development. However, beyond these more technical aspects, it is the interpretation that gives this album its truly special touch. One experiences an emergency, anger too often absent in many groups of dark metal. This gives the songs a dirty side, almost wild, which is perfect for this musical style. I think it’s also important to note that all texts are written in French only, a fairly rare phenomenon among our illustrious cousins, which generally choose English. This gives the songs a more authentic aspect to anyone who shares our wonderful language.
Discover a talented group is unquestionably one of the things I like most about my endless quest at the edges of the black metal continent. I admit I was pleasantly surprised by an album unearthed almost by chance. Suprême Silence, which ends with howling blizzards reminiscent of the Alps, takes the listener into a careless and cold world without any mercy. You have been warned. 8/10
Originally written for Métal Obscur.
Aldaaron play quite melodic black metal with a focus on atmosphere and epicness. The French orientated themselves by the pioneers of black metal from norwegian/sweden (Dissection/Immortal etc.) and therefore there is a huge portion of nostalgia in here as well. The formula, with which the songs where created is quite known: The drums are impelling while the guitars are playing fast tremolo-picked riffs. The bass is somewhat subtle and the harsh vocals are completing the construct. Promotional letters often promise false things, but one sentence is quite true for Aldaaron (loosely translated): “The French are delivering a fusion of furiously epic melodies and atmospheric parts”. The mentioned riffs are indeed quite well, as they are the highlight of the record.
Those catchy riffs, presented by songs like J’átteindrai la Pureté, mention to balance the sometimes weak compositions quite well. Those weaknesses are embodied by the really fast parts, in which the mixture of drum beats and guitar sounds is way too much, too thick and therefore too annoying. On the other side they managed to create those beautiful melodies and integrate them so well. The drums are playing appropriately to support the songs, without waiving things like doublebass and co.. Another strength of the record is, the usage of special things (like synthesizer sounds, clear or spoken vocals) well dosed to set the special atmosphere for each song.
Of course the record has some flaws as well, like the overladen parts I mentioned before, although they aren’t that bad. The melodies on the record seem to be quite akin from time to time, which leads, in combination with the quite monotonous vocals, to some boring moments throughout the record. This is a bit balanced through the aforementioned specialties of each song, which manage to spice things up again. Another flaw is the nostalgia that is presented on this record. Although the riffs are really well done, you will encouter some “deja ecoute” effects throughout the whole playing time. To conclude with some positive facts: The production is really well done and supports the majestic/epic atmosphere quite well.
Sadly, I can’t compare this record with the debut record of the band, but I dare to say that Suprême Silence is a worthy successor of it. The record offers typical, oldschool black metal compositions with loads of atmosphere and epicness. The quite monotonous vocals and some overladen, fast passages are the main flaws of the record, but they are balanced out by the brilliant riffs and the aforementioned good atmosphere. I guess everyone who loves the good old black metal records from bands like Dissection should love this record as well.
Written for http://threnodies.com