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This is the ninth full-length from German black metal stalwarts Lunar Aurora. It has been over five years since their last release Andacht and this sees the end of the band's hiatus, returning with a strong album in Hoagascht. The band's sound here is very atmospheric, melodic, although not without its fair share of actual black metal and quality riffs.
Getting some minor niggles out of the way first, mainly the vocals. The style of rasps used coupled with the German language/accent sounds awkward, I would have preferred a more indecipherable shriek/croak. Secondly is the overlong introduction to the album opener "Im Gartn", spoken word and the almost dance electronics really gives the wrong impression; it almost feels like I'm listening to some underground German dance music.
Now, onto the good times... For one the riffs here are really cool, with some interesting delivery in places. The atmospheric sections are also really well done, and wonderfully placed. They range from natural folk, woodland styles to haunting, early Blut Aus Nord soundscapes. After getting off to an almost false start with the first track, "Nachteule" delivers the goods and from here on the album proceeds to develop and open up as it goes on. The later tracks boast great atmosphere, and are really enjoyable. I think fans of the band will no doubt enjoy this release, and whilst probably not as good as some of their earlier work; it's good to have them back. Well worth checking out!
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com