Tuesday, March 17, 2015

El Hijo de la Aurora-The Enigma of Evil

Minotauro Records

El Hijo de la Aurora (Son of the Dawn) is an experimental doom metal/psychedelic rock band that was formed in Lima, Peru in may of 2008 by Joaquín Cuadra (ex-Don Juan Matus) and Manolo Garfias (Don Juan Matus, Throne of the Fallen). By December of 2008 the band had issued it's first full-length in the form of "Lemuria" before following it up some two years later with the LP "Wicca: Spells, Magic and Witchcraft Through the Ages". Here it is 2015 and after five years of silence the band has returned with it's third full-length album in the form of "The Enigma of Evil". These days Joaquín Cuadra (drums/FX) is the only original member left and here on the self-produced "The Enigma of Evil" he is not only blessed by the presence of other talented writers and musicians, but several captivating vocalists. Together these wonderful guest players surround Cuadra in a magical circle where the known and unknown universe collide into one explosive fireball! And that's just the musical side of this Lima-based project! Concept-wise, this new album "explores the origin of the cosmos, and how we establish our relationship with the spiritual world", but if you really want to break down even further then try this one on for size. On "The Enigma of Evil" the band (lyrically-speaking) explores "elements of philosophy, occultism, witchcraft, esotericism and spirituality" and that ends up making album number three as heavy vibe-wise as it is sound wise! All of which brings up a really good point when it comes to this Peruvian doom metal band. Not only does El Hijo de la Aurora excel on the sound-stage*, but also in atmospheric sense. I don't mind saying that this one gave me the creeps! Whether that had anything to do with the fact that I listened to this album in the dark while wearing headphones is debatable. What is not open to debate though is the Heavy and Oppressive nature of this LP and how spooky it's vibe is! Even when you take into consideration the experimental nature of this release (see below) we're still staring into the cold dark eyes of one honest to goodness doom metal band so it's bound to be a downward spiral one way or the other! So, what's the ultimate verdict on this one? Frankly-speaking "The Enigma of Evil" works on every level. From it's overall production at the hands of founding member Joaquín Cuadra to it's otherworldly vibe you just can't go wrong with this one my friends. The music is ultimately a heavy take on the early doom scene, but it is also dyed in the vibrant colors of the psychedelic rock and then it is filtered through the horror-cinema soundtracks of yesterday. It's all of this and more while it runs about at night tiptoeing through fields overflowing with death rock, acid rock and stoner rock. This was my very first taste of El Hijo de la Aurora and I'm truly hoping that any and all of our readers who have not yet experienced this Peruvian project first hand will be inspired to try this band out so that you too indulge in the same luxury! This is a great album from a largely unknown band, but here's hoping that we will be haunted by this band for years to come!

*Here on the recommend "The Enigma of Evil" (an album which {incidentally enough my friends}you can get directly from Minotauro Records) Joaquín Cuadra and his fellow conspirators not only tap deep into the vein of classic 70's doom (Black Sabbath, Pentagram, the American band Bang, etc.), but then they try to balance it out with experimental sounds and unconventional instrumentation. Well, the word "try" is not the right word to use at all seeing as El Hijo de la Aurora ended up recording this beautifully haunting mix of all thing seventies doom (see the three bands above for a brief sampling of this occult rock outfits influences) and seventies hard rock/psychedelic rock (Lucifer's Friend, Budgie, Sir Lord Baltimore, B.O.C., etc.) before topping the who magical affair off with the likes of Goblin, Christian Death and Death SS! It's all rather terribly terrific and given the band's use of unusual instruments (at least for a doom metal-type release) such as Tibetan bowls and gongs (which really does point towards the brilliance of Goblin!) it's also an album that is downright spooky and spine-tingling! "The Enigma of Evil" comes across as a refreshingly brilliant listening experience while it simultaneously leaves you with this utterly terrifying sense of dread! This one is not to be missed if you are a fan of experimental/psychedelic doom metal! You can find out more about this band on their Facebook Page.

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