Monday, March 28, 2011





Italy's Aura formed back in 1996, but it was twelve years later that they released their debut album "A Different View From The Same Side". Now they return with their sophomore outing. This is a concept album that is the telling of a man's dream: he travels through Palestine and lives again the sufferings of the Israeli people and Jesus Christ himself to reach his redemption, at the end. Musically the influences include early Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Yes, Queensryche and others. Whenever I approach a prog-rock or prog-metal album I am always a bit hesitant because I have heard too many bands that get so wrapped in the progressive aspects that they lose site of the rock or metal part. You end up with endless passages of musicians showing off their playing, but they forget about how to piece together hooks to actually rock and engage their listeners. Fortunately that isn't a problem for Aura. They do create an abundance of long musical passages, but they manage to focus on the hooks as well and never lose sight of creating tightly crafted songs. There are plenty of melodies flowing throughout yet they serve to add plenty of texture to their songs. There are more keyboards/piano present than in some other music of this genre. That does tend to give it more of a rock than metal sound at times, but these parts are frequently intriguing and help build your interest rather than lose you. The songs are oftentimes very busy with pieces coming and going quickly, but the band manages a strong sense of control and always seem to be building their songs rather than losing control. An enjoyable album for sure. Also this is an album that I believe I will be listening to a lot in upcoming weeks primarily because there is so much going on that you cannot hope to absorb it all in just a few spins.

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