Lunar Aurora - Weltengänger -CD


I haven't spent nearly as much time on Lunar Aurora's 90's career than their later material, but one album I have given repeated listens to is their debut full-length Weltengänger. Although their early material isn't quite as popular and more difficult to get your hands on, Weltengänger is an album worthy of a listen.

At the time, they were a four piece with Aran and Whyrhd being the only two of the group to remain with the band afterward although drummer Nathaniel would stick around for one more album. Weltengänger is a six track album which is perfect for the type of music they play here. They've always been known for their mystical sounding brand of atmospheric black metal and their debut album is no exception, but here it sounds much more gossamer and light sounding. The music maintains an occult tinge to it, but at the same time it also has this "floaty" feeling to it. No depressing sounding moods that you'd find in Elixir of Sorrow or Andacht; and while the lyrics do dabble with dying here, particularly on "Grabgesänge", they seem to be more about the soul being freed to some astral plains or some shit like that.

The music is almost constantly at a fast tempo with the only slow section occurring on "Into the Secrets of the Moon". The passages are more than varied enough to keep the music interesting through the album's 47 minute length though. The riffs and the keyboards are both very light sounding and reminiscent of early Emperor, and it's the keyboards that take actually up the majority of the spotlight on this album. While the riffs sound fine on their own, the best parts of the songs are when the keyboards lay down their melody. "Grabgesänge" has two excellent examples of this, the first on their chorus (if you could call it that) and then again after their second "chorus", the latter of which is also used as the song's outro to great effect. "Conqueror of the Ember Moon"'s outro is equally as beautiful sounding in the same respect while also serving as an excellent finisher to the album with the extended instrumental section after the vocals finish before the guitars, bass, and drum stop playing and there's only the keyboards playing.

Make no mistake though, the guitars are not useless. The keyboards aren't on at all times throughout the album, and the riffs are easy enough to follow along to be rather catchy and have their own occasional beautiful melodies as well such as on the aforementioned break on "Into the Secrets of the Moon" as well as just about the entirety of "Conqueror of the Ember Moon". The drums meanwhile sound really organic and drummer Nathaniel has a lot of energy on this release. Whyrhd's mid-ranged shrieking vocals then are the icing on the German chocolate cake and sound like he's reciting some shamanic ritual chant for channeling spirits.

Weltengänger is a blast. It's easily my favorite Lunar Aurora by a giant margin. Besides that, I feel that Weltengänger is an important landmark for atmospheric black metal's expansion out of Scandinavia alongside Negură Bunget, Blut aus Nord, and Nagelfar. And to date, Weltengänger remains one of the best atmospheric black metal albums overall. Listen to this album. Listen to it during daylight, listen to it while standing in the moonlight. Just listen to it.