Review Summary: Mixing electronic ambience with the typical Lunar Aurora sound fans all know it’s easy to see that a five year hiatus hasn’t softened the appeal of Hoagascht.
Unlike the bands other releases Hoagascht
is actually brought back a notch. All the features are there and the typical atmospheric inducing background noise remains one of the elements that makes Lunar Aurora’s music come together as a whole, but for all it’s worth the record itself has a subdued feeling about it. The vocals are ‘less’ harsh and even the steady riff work that is broken into even phrasing doesn’t leave the listener with the same aggressive full force of Lunar Aurora’s early days. This isn’t to say that Hoagascht
has lost its appeal, rather the band itself seems to be maturing into a natural progression focusing less on a heavier approach to their black metal and in the long run is seeing an album that is written stronger musically.
Albums have come and gone under the Lunar Aurora moniker and with that comes better production, Hoagascht
benefits from a less raw sounding production allowing the albums subtle features to envelope the listener wholly. One downfall for this record is the fact that it’s in a German dialect (great- if you can speak German) but as the general metal population speak English the concept of the album is more likely to pass through unnoticed and under the radar unless you have a translator ready to go. The album is readily mid-paced throughout separating itself from other black metal acts that rely simply on blast beats and tremolo riff work, tied together with Satan-istic imagery. Lunar Aurora may use a couple of these features here and there but their reliance is focused on intelligent song writing and intelligent phrasing. As for the music within tracks some listeners may find trouble with the “bare bones” nature of the music’s layering. There is riff and melody line but for the most part there is no discernible lead section. No soaring flamboyant guitar solos idolising in guitar wankery or noticeable main melodic pattern above the chords of the guitar. This simplistic creative process may leave room for the listeners’ thought process but largely it leaves a void that could have been filled with a small addition of strings.
is a shift in the band’s sound, just not a major one. The albums mid paced tempo may at times create a bore some listen without a little variance but for the most part helps reinforce Lunar Aurora’s natural maturing process after a five year wait. For 2012 the album is hardly ground breaking but rest assured that Hoagascht
maintains an acceptable amount of quality for a veteran black metal outfit and throughout the album’s duration. This year’s release may not better Andacht
or have the same bombarding impact that the debut had but for fans of second wave black metal with an ambient presence this is an album that will please. It’s not the best of the best but Lunar Aurora’s “bare bone” approach combined with its members personal maturing sees a black metal album of 2012 in a positive light.