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Hit or miss - 67%

PhantomMullet, November 10th, 2011

Lunar Aurora has always had an interesting discography as their general sound and style has varied between each album. It begs the question of what their debut demo sounds like. Is it in any way symphonic like Weltengaenger or is it some raw, but atmospheric mix of metal? The answer is most likely the latter, but unfortunately, A Wandering Winterdream Beneath the Cold Moon is a much more generic mix of raw ambience.

Overall, the sound is very weak. It runs very parallel to Immortal's first album, everything from weaker sounds to attempts at making faster paced black metal. The only problem is that the tracks just aren't that memorable and if you've heard older Immortal or even Darkthrone, there isn't too much here that sticks out. These are all riffs you've heard before and since they come in a lot weaker, they are even less enjoyable. To be more specific, the guitars sound as if they've been recorded in a tiny bunker with a weak amplifier.

The main saving grace is its atmosphere. If you look at the cover art, the music allows you to immerse yourself in a setting exactly like that. Vocals have somewhat of an echo which convey the sense of vast, but quiet winter plains. This is a sound that can only come from the tranquil Bavarian region on a cold winter night. Flutes and synths occasionally come in and supplement the atmosphere. In fact, the 35 second introduction is actually pretty good - it's a simple flute melody with accoustic guitars, but it captures that wintry bliss. A shame that it's only 35 seconds though. There's also a ton of ambient synths on the last track, but that track is really too long...

On one hand, AWWBTCM can come as generic and musically uninteresting; however, there is a certain ambience that the demo does well. Fortunately, Lunar Aurora uses this idea in greater force and quality on later albums, but it's cool to see some of it start here. This demo isn't essential, but if you're looking for music to listen to while you walk alone in a large forest during the winter at night, you may be interested in this, but ONLY if you've heard other Lunar Aurora albums first.