Trilogies are a tricky thing, and for every one of them done correctly, there are way more that are disasters or just not worth the time one puts into getting through them. The “Star Wars” franchise has one classic trilogy, one total disaster, and one that was … fine. The “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy was breathtaking and immersive, whereas the unnecessary “Hobbit” series was a bloated mess.
Just two years ago, Swiss black metal force Aara started their own by focusing on the 1820 novel Melmoth the Wandererby Charles Maturin, and the final installment now arrives with “Triade III: Nyx,” their fifth full-length album. On this ending collection, Melmoth’s lover is locked in the dungeons during the Inquisition, and she dies of her grief after losing the child the couple conceived. At the same time Melmoth loses his bid for immortality, and his chapter on Earth closes. The band—vocalist Fluss, guitarist/bassist/samplist Berg, drummer J.—pay this off with yet another breathtaking record, one flush with tidal waving melodies, gargantuan shrieks, and infectious power that matches, and in ways surpasses, the two records that precede this one. The band has been on a torrid pace since 2019, and they push that momentum into this record that ends a devastating trilogy worthy of adulation.
“Heimgesucht” opens with horses trampling the ground as the guitars slowly emerge, enrapturing before the shrieks jam a screwdriver into your temple. The playing is spiraling and dramatic, the guitars flood, and then everything goes cold, almost freezing. The leads burst again, the power destroys, and the final moments leave nerve endings on fire. “Emphase der Seelenpein” rampages with huge riffs and gothy colors making the edges darker, a delirious feel making everything manic and jolting. Guitars cut as the cymbals crash, shrieks destroy, and the playing swelters and slashes, dashing orange across the sky. “Moribunda” gently starts, letting you get your bearings before the bomb drops, the playing tearing open the imagination and climbing inside. Wrenching shrieks work with a storming and sometimes dreamy attack, the drumming pummels, and the penetrating force gets into your chest. Shrieks deface as the bleeding intensifies, keys drip like syrup, and the final moments crash to the earth.
“Unstern” is melodic and blasting, angelic singing blazing through the clouds and into your dreams. The tempo jolts and glazes, the sounds welling, and colder air making you shiver deeply. Guitars speed and zap, morbid pounding creates heavy darkness, and gutting blasts disconnect joints. “Des Wanderers Traum” arrives amid a thunderous riff as the shrieks crush bones, and the guitar work wrenches your mind. The playing floods and bombards, making your body quiver, and the pace intensifies, feeling like thunder cracking across the horizon. The playing turns haunting as the shrieks liquify teeth, guitars chill, and the playing slithers into the night. Closer “Edo et Edam” brings pulsating sounds and a strange calm, and then guitars begin to lather. Glorious and cascading, the rumbling, emotional waves pull apart your heart, the energy intensifies, and the shrieks tear their final holes as the forces chimes away for good.
Aara bring to a close this thunderous trilogy that began just two years ago and now concludes with “Triade III: Nyx,” the most immersive of the Melmoth trio. The tale ends in tragedy and tears, which is something most of us have been through and to which we can relate. That they deliver this final chapter with fervor and black metal force that swallows you whole makes the impact undeniable and something to which you will have no choice but to submit.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100051054499947
To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://debemurmorti.aisamerch.com/
Or here (Europe): https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/12-eshop
For more on the label, go here: https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/