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Having released two self-financed CDs plus a mini CD previously and although Aurora Borealis is not a total stranger in the underground scene, the band was unsuccessful in finding an European distributor until after the release of this silver disc in the States. Things changed when the band signed a deal with the Danish Die Hard Records for the release of two CD's.
The first one lies before me, an European release of their self-financed "Northern Lights" CD, which came out in the States in 2000.
The band consists of only two members on this release, namely Ron Vento (vocals, bass, guitar) and Derek Roddy (drums), the last one will definitely ring a bell as the drummer-for-hire in numerous more well-known acts such as Malevolent Creation and Hate Eternal. Roddy plays an active part in Aurora Borealis for years now.
Musically speaking, "Northern Lights" is a hyper-fast Death/Black album. Sharp riffs and constantly raging drumbeats make together a very aggressive wall of sound which will make the die-hard blastbeat-fans crave for more, I'm certain. Above that, the CD will come with 5 bonus tracks!
Unfortunately, after a few tracks the screams of Vento start to get on my nerves and I can't resist the feeling that I'm listening to an extremely fast Death/Thrash-oriented band in which only the vocals seem to add to the Black Metal description which Aurora Borealis claims. On top of that, some tracks sound unfinished, as if there was too little time to expand upon the ideas present.
In short: a very powerful CD with a reasonable production which will be well-received in the underground scene. The replay value is somewhat lessened by the forgettable vocals though, and I dare say the music has not yet fully matured. I'm convinced that we'll hear more from them though, hopefully AB continues to grow.