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Endless Winter

fiVe

by Aura Hiemis

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06:09
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about

Sadly not much is known about this doom/death band that hails from Chile of all places, signed to a Russian label known as Endless Winter. This is one of the first things I listened to from this label, and right off the bat let me tell you they have quite a few things going on from song to song, though there is a surprising lack of variety in some of the framework of these tunes. Not a HUGE deal, since this five track CD (geddit?) boasts a few 5, 6 and 7 minute songs. Where it REALLY hurts the band is the CD closer, but we'll get to that shortly. In a mere 5 minutes and 32 seconds, Aura Hiemis manages to create a song that has you thinking you've heard it longer, and that is opener 'De Tenebris.' Now right away you'll notice they utilize clean sung male vocals. A LOT. And thankfully they're not a problem to listen to. The death metal vocals are present too, and they're quite forceful. The mood bounces around a lot on this cut, and the crushing heaviness is not to be ignored. The female vocals are supposedly guest on this album, but they mix nicely here. This is a great emotional doom piece, and the drum work is quite varied as well. Followup 'Penta Imperium' is a mere 7:50, and the slow doomy guitars and pianos struck me in the face as sounding like they were lifted straight off a Draconian disc! And yes, the clean sung male vocals are back; obviously it seems like there's a bit of a gothic touch to the record. There's not a whole lot of instrumental variety here, in fact most of their "variety" comes when they take a structure change midway (maybe they play a solo, do some vocal differentiations), and then it's right back to where they started. This isn't a problem on this track. The "alarm bell" pace of the cymbals was a little odd, but it's a minor problem for me. Next comes the biggest surprise in 'Doomentia,' because it doesn't start out doomy paced at all! It's a riff fest and pretty fast compared to what you've heard so far, but the middle to end of the track (yes, all 11:37 of it) is nice and doomy, complete with clean sung vocals and some AMAZING high ended guitar work that goes on forever! The crushing heavy fast paced instrumentation coupled with the death metal vox are very attention keeping, and as small a role as they play on such a long track, they are the highlight. Gothic HEAVY is the followup tune 'In Noctem,' and the female vocals get solo time and are featured the most on this track. The piano and guitar work still has the ring of doom, but trust me, it's not JUST the womanly vocals that give this a goth edge. It's a decent track to be sure, but not as great as the rest, though I don't see myself passing it. CD ended 'My Sweet Desire' is the longest cut here at 11:50, and it suffers BADLY from the lack of variety that other tracks dealt with. First of all, this cut starts off beautifully with acoustic guitar and an amazing ambient set of synthesized landscapes, but the vocal work gets SO repetitive that it drags the whole thing down. You don't get to hear the first chorus until 4:30, and it is SO embarassing with the death metal vocals going "you could be my angel!!" I mean lyrically this really is hard to listen to, and the chorus is supposed to be an important part of the song! Thankfully, the instrumentation, especially the midway point, has some fantastic solo guitar work, but once the 8:42 mark hits, they drop RIGHT back into the overrepetitive vocals. It's definitely an enjoyable effort, not quite on par with the amazing doom bands I've heard before, but damn it, sometimes you gotta praise a band that can give you 4 great songs out of a 5 song disc. I definitely want to check out their earlier releases!!

Vibration of Doom

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released April 7, 2013

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Aura Hiemis Santiago, Chile

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