Aghora
Aghora


4.5
superb

Review

by blueyxd USER (15 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 49 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Aghora - Aghora
Released in 2000 on Dobles Producitons

Aghora are (on this cd):
Danishta Rivero - Vocals
Santiago Dobles - Lead Guitar/Electric Sitar
Charlie Ekendhal - Rhythm Guitar
Sean Malone - Bass/Chapman Stick/Keyboard (maybe")
Sean Reinert - Drums


Technicality and beauty combine forces on this album, one which is atypical of most metal.
Being metal, it has the crunching guitars, fast double kick drums and wild solos, but what sets it apart from the norm is a strong Indian influence, positive spiritual attitudes, but most of all, the clasically-trained mezzo-soprano female vocals.

I've seen a few people on here who don't like the vocals, I don't know why, Danishta has a very nice voice. Maybe it's because this type of singing is not normally associated with metal, and a purist mindset emerges, hoping for growls or screams.

The music is generally heavy, not as heavy as most metal, probably on par with Gordian Knot in the heaviness department. It's a little bit prog, so along with that, the technical level is pretty high, I can't not mention all the weird time signatures used, I love that stuff.

The two Seans from Cynic offer a solid, yet complex base to work from. I guess vocals can't really be technical, but Danishta sings very well for the most part. Her brother, Santiago is quite the shredder, he does so a fair bit, yet it never goes too far. The emotions and feelings and such do shine through in his playing. Charlie is the only one who really seems to miss out on attention for his efforts, it's simply his "background" position in the band that does this, it's easy to not notice or forget about poor Charlie, but he's there all the same.

Lyrically, there is a theme attached to the songs, about a move to a higher spiritual existence, from darkness towards light. "Aghora" is an Indian sect who have this idea about forcing light to come from darkness, obviously in a spiritual sense, and this is what the band based the album on.


Enlightenment gets closer and closer as the album progresses, it is quite an uplifting listen. From an ordinary being in Immortal Bliss, to one that recognizes their full inner potential in Existence, and all the steps in between and beyond. Most songs have the spirutal lyrics, there are also two instrumentals, Jivatma and the closer Anugraha, which leave you to reflect on all the ideas covered.


I won't do a track by track... but in each song, the high points for me are:

Immortal Bliss - the first bit(chunkchunk chunk chunk chunk chunk chunkchunk)
Satya - Basslines
Transfiguration - vocal harmonies and the muted guitar line
Frames - 2:33 onwards, great singing and beautiful music (exact same as Grace by Gordian Knot, except it sounds way better here).
Mind's reality - a good all rounder.
Kali Yuga - love the weird rhythms in the middle
Jivatma - well, it's a long jam, and the first 3 minutes are good...
Existence - the lyrics mostly, good intro too, and the drum solo.
Anugraha - bluegrass and bollywood - together at last. It's feel good music, perfect closing song.


There are some low points too, not many
Frames - the vocals before 2:33 sound really wrong
Kali Yuga - the solo at the end is a bit long winded.
Jivatma - I know it represents a meditative state before Existence, but it's too long
Existence - It's a bit hard to listen to at first, it defintely grows though.


Overall, the musical flow, the performance, the sound quality, and the feeling I get from listening to Aghora is great. It's a prime example of what can be done with metal and mixing it with other styles and ideas. There are very few things I don't like on this album. Even beyond the lyrics and theme, it is an album full of positives.

9.7/10 - Brilliant


Recommended starting songs for those interested:
Mind's Reality
Kali Yuga
Satya

[url]www.aghora.org[/url]



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Stoic
November 6th 2004


161 Comments


I've only listened to some samples which I found very interesting at least as far as the music is concerned. Well the female vocals are a problem, they are kind of unimposing if you know what I mean, while I wanted to hear a more aggressive tune. Besides this I like the whole concept and song themes and I guess it worth getting although it must be difficult to find. By the way, the site looks a bit abandoned, are they still around?

blueyxd
November 6th 2004


77 Comments


Well, both Seans have left the band since then, I think they have another bassist, but no drummer... so it does seem pretty unlikely that anything more will happen with the band, which is sad. But there's always potential.

I don't think it'd be that hard to get a copy now, but it could be a good investment since it may a well sought after and rare cd in the future, much like Atheist and Cynic cd's.
www.theendrecords.com has it for sale

Distorted Vision
November 6th 2004


184 Comments


Holy crap I love Sean Malone. His bass playing on here is phenomenal, especially Satya. Aghora aren't a band I can have in heavy rotation, but from time to time they're a nice change from the usual metal.

Good review, I pretty much agree with your points. I never got used to the vocal sound at the start of Frames, but yes after that the song gets awesome. Satya's still my favourite though, just for that bassline.

the2stranger
November 6th 2004


130 Comments


nice review


but could anyone tell me what a sitar is? and chapman sticks?


thanks

Bartender
Emeritus
November 6th 2004


826 Comments


[img]http://www.musicalnirvana.com/instruments/sitar.jpg[/img]

A sitar is a stringed instrument, often used to make very Eastern-sounding melodies /cliche.

Chapman Sticks are just awesome. Go to www.stick.com to find out about them.

Anyway, good review. This, along with Cortlandt, is an album I really badly want, and always seem to have trouble getting

Distorted Vision
November 6th 2004


184 Comments


Chapman sticks are the best instuments ever.


Believe it.

the2stranger
November 7th 2004


130 Comments


thanks to bartender and distorted vision

Per Ardua Ad Astra
November 7th 2004


106 Comments


Awesome review, i've been meaning to check these guys out. I'm into anything the Seans do together.

Mardy
November 10th 2004


38 Comments


I've heard that Danishta had a cold on this album, some or all songs I don't know, but that maybe the reason that the vocals may sound wrong at some points.

Great album, 5/5

Dancin' Man
December 25th 2004


719 Comments


I'd love to hear this stuff. All of the Sean's other stuff I've heard is great. This is just harder to find.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 17th 2005


2126 Comments


Wow, I can't believe I didn't see this before. This is such a great album. It's the only album I've heard to mix metal and elements of jazz and classical.

Dancin' Man
May 17th 2005


719 Comments


I've decided Gordian Knot> Cynic = Aghora > Portal

Aghora is alright, but not really my thing in the end. Gordian Knot is just plain better in every way and the Cynic - aghora business is preference.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 18th 2005


2126 Comments


hmm, I prefer Aghora and Cynic to Gordian Knot, but maybe because I'm not as experience with Gordian Knot.

Bartender
Emeritus
May 18th 2005


826 Comments


[QUOTE=br3ad_man]
Wow, I can't believe I didn't see this before. This is such a great album. It's the only album I've heard to mix metal and elements of jazz and classical.[/QUOTE]

Maybe you should check out Sean Malone's solo album. There's (probably) less metal and classical than here, but there's still some. Plus it's just a pretty good album.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 18th 2005


2126 Comments


I'll be sure to. I really like Sean.

black\m/metal
November 5th 2005


24 Comments


what is his solo album?

Arrakakaka
November 10th 2005


685 Comments


The vocals will take a while to swallow.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 30th 2006


3912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love everything about this band, its such a perfect mix of elements. I really like Danishta voice even though some complain its a bit monotone sorta. The Seans are just awsome and ooh, News: Reinert is playing for the next album =D

xlynx
August 6th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My CD cover is different to the one pictured above. It is dark grey with a small logo in the centre and aghora written 1/3 of the way down.



I love this album. It is beautiful and unique. I wonder how their next will turn out after all this time and changes in their line-up.

rattlehead42147
February 20th 2008


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Transfiguration is an orgasm.



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