The Scottish one-man folk black metal project Saor is not slowing down for anyone. Andy Marshall released his first album under this project last year, and is already finished at least one more album. I loved the first album Roots, and with what we’ve been able to hear of the new album Aura, this one will be even better.
A while back we got to hear “Children of the Mist“ which was a rainy, soaring look into the history of the highlands. Since then, two more songs have been released, the first one is the title track, “Aura“, and the second one is called “Pillars of the Earth“.
Both songs are really good. “Pillars of the Earth” comes in like a storm, with blasting guitars and drums, before settling into a nice relaxing passage about halfway through. The guitars come back in, but the song maintains its slower, more relaxed feeling. The evolution of the song is complex, from a pounding beginning to a more moody mid-section, and the grand finale of everything marching in grandiose fashion. It’s a spiritual journey through history and myth.
“Aura” opens with a quiet passage driven by ethereal vocals and light clean guitars, invoking almost an Alcest sort of sense. After that sensitive intro comes the main body of the song, including a flighty lead guitar line.
The production on both of these songs is really nice; there’s a rough primal quality to it that coaxes the best emotion out of the deep timeless spirit that is embodied within them.
So far, Aura is promising to be an evolution on what Roots brought. Everything feels more cohesive and more fleshed out. Roots was an exploration in atmosphere, and Aura takes those ideas and puts them into a more practical use, telling a story rather than merely painting a picture.
I for one am pretty excited for the album, though it does not seem to have a set release date at the moment.