Lunar Aurora - Ars Moriendi -CD


Many people consider Ars Moriendi Lunar Aurora's best release...It's not the most farfetched opinion because the album does serve as a bridge between their more symphonic, Emperor - influenced work and their most recent heavier and atmospheric albums. It does indeed take from both worlds, containing synthesizer driven atmospheres and a stronge sense of heaviness. As such, you get a solid black metal release featuring a sound that's crunchy, thick, strong, but still fuzzy. The production is much better compared to previous albums, but it's not completely clear. No problem - it doesn't need to be.

In terms of general themes, the ideas of space and winter that they've used in previous albums seem to be gone. Instead, the lyrics seem to focus on more abstract things or perhaps certain emotions based on my limited German skills. There are still prevelant themes of dying, decay, and ghostly matters, but overall the mood of the album is a bit darker. You know this right away when you hear the short introduction track that is only filled with ominous organs. The outro merely consists of what appear to tranquil wind chimes. I guess this symbolizes the idea that something has indeed died.

I think the main point to make with this album is that all the tracks are really good, but only three or four of them are absolutely excellent. "Flammen Der Sehnsucht", "Deamontreiber", and "Kaeltetod" alone really make this album worth getting. The riffs in "Flammen Der Sehnsucht" are amazing! It's not so much the intricate tremolo picking, but how the production syncs well with the synths in the background. The vocals come off as really harsh, setting a strong display of powerful, but mystical agony. There's an incredibly sinister atmosphere to be found here. The song has an overall structured style, but it's varied enough so that it never goes flat. This track really reminds me of some of the older Norwegian black metal bands for creating that mystical atmosphere of grimness amongst the fullmoon in the deepest depths of the night.

I really don't have anything bad to say about Ars Moriendi. Sure, some songs are better than others, but they're all worth listening to and for different reasons. If Ars Moriendi really means "The Art of Dying," Lunar Aurora have done really well here in making that theme come to life (or death?) with the atmosphere they created. If you've never heard Lunar Aurora before, definitely start here and if you have heard this band but not the album, what are you waiting for? This is a spiritual journey you don't want to miss.