Swiss black metal power Aara dig into classic damnation tale with trilogy opener ‘Triad I: Eos’

Heavy metal has had a long and storied history of taking classic pieces of literature and winding it into their music in a way that brings the tale to life and maybe even exposes listeners to texts they hadn’t considered before. And that’s just Iron Maiden’s catalog! It’s a way for bands to move past the expected when it comes to what drives the music, and maybe it’ll encourage someone to read.

For their new record “Triad I: Eos,” Swiss black metal force Aara decided to dig into 1820 novel Memloth the Wanderer by Irish Protestant clergyman and playwright Charles Robert Maturin, and it tells the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil for another 150 years of existence on earth. Good thing is you have time to absorb the text because this album is the first in a trilogy for the band—vocalist Fluss, guitarist/bassist Berg, drummer J—that we assume will continue over their fourth and fifth albums, if they stay on a straight path with the story. The music is another dose of their sharp, fully atmospheric black metal that surges and causes your blood to rush along with them. Fluss’ shrieks manage to get inside of you and swim in your head, bringing you to your own brink of damnation.

“Fathum” starts with synth slowly spreading its wings, creating an ambiance that detonates two minutes in. The riffs flood as shrieks rain down, letting huge melodies surge before a brief moment of calm. Acoustics wash in and recharge the scene before the shrieks crush, and the guitars rise and burst. The leads take over, emotions jolt, and the finish is massive. “Tantalusqual” has strong riffs and shrieks raining hammers while everything twists into a knot. The playing rushes hard as sweeping, surging playing tries to pull you under, and the drums clobber while the intensity increases. Glorious leads ride as everything explodes anew, twisting your heart and burning out. “Naufragus” has sounds crashing to earth, blasting open cuts, and the leads tangling your mental wires. The vocals breathe fire as a choral burst chills flesh, and the pressure suddenly spikes. Glorious melodies power up, the chorals spread, and the final gusts are nasty and violent.

“Nimmermehr” blisters right away as the guitars stir hard, and the shrieks meet up with a choral haze. A frenzy is whipped up as the leads chew, pushing and making the melodies more resurgent. The vocal parts feel pastoral and chilling, the leads take hold, and the final moments are bustling and razor sharp. “Das Wunder” unleashes gusting guitars and hammering shrieks, pushing the tempo and ripping hard. A slight chill comes on as the blood pressure increases, and a fog surrounds your psyche with mystery. Curdling shrieks smash down again, increasing the temperature until everything explodes. “Effugium” finishes off the record by plastering you with violence as the vocals spit nails. The guitars get more aggressive as the tempo strangles, the speed floods, and the fire increases and takes land with them. Serenity swims for a moment, bringing the heat back down as faint chants work their way up your spine. The storming breaks, an angelic haze makes your skin flushed, and everything bleeds out into a mysterious gaze.

There’s plenty in which to dig your teeth on “Triad I: Eos,” Aara’s exciting third record. Their enthralling and flooding black metal easily can sweep you under, and if you’re also tied into the subject matter, it’ll add another level of chaos for you. There’s a lot in the story in which I identify, and Aara’s music has been fueling plenty of what I’ve been feeling the last year or so. This band is doing some amazing things, and if you’re not yet familiar, change that immediately and get lost in their fire.  

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