REVIEW: AUÐN – “Vökudraumsins Fangi”
The Icelandic black metal band Auðn (pronounced something like ‘authn’) have been known for quite some time now and in my opinion, they were a little insider tip when it came to atmospheric black metal. In their upcoming album ‘Vökudraumsins fangi’ the Icelanders show again for the third time what they can create and other than what the translation of their band name might suggest (something like desert or wasteland) the new record is musically the exact opposite. As it is usual for atmospheric black metal the songs are relatively long and this is of course not everybody’s cup of beer and even less so if you are not into this sub-genre. But that is what you need to create an atmosphere, and in fact, it never gets boring with the guys from Auðn.
I could now rate the songs step by step and emphasize or criticize one or the other. But this is not the right thing for me with this album (respectively this kind of music). Basically you hear one single long song with some breaks. I guess that somebody who has ever seen such a kind of music live can probably relate to what i mean. From the very beginning to the great final of the record it is consistently well composed and it never gets boring in any part. The different types of guitar riffs with their different effects and speeds, together with appropriate drums and the emotional voice of the singer, consistently give an interesting and varied mixture that invites you to dream. So, Auðn succeed to tell me a dynamic and exciting story although I do not understand the Icelandic language. And here comes the only one criticism of the composition: I do not understand what is being sung. The translators I tried out unfortunately only gave me a small impression of the subject matter. For the release of their third album, Auðn should perhaps consider providing translations to help them gain a better foothold in non-Icelandic countries. They would have more than deserved this. The language of the vocals themselves, however, should definitely remain Icelandic, because that gives a very special touch.
Finally, I want to say a few words about the sound of ‘Vökudraumsins fangi’. I do not have much to say about it: I just did not find anything that bothers me. I have not heard such a well-mixed sound for a long time. The details of different guitar riffs, their effects, and the bass guitar are surprisingly well separable, but still clear and powerful. The drums are accompanied by a powerful overall sound that doesn’t overlay anything and last but not least the vocals are good in the foreground of the sound, but absolutely not obtrusive for me. The band sound and the mix itself with everything that goes with it is simply a masterpiece for me!
If you like atmospheric black metal and want to experience a very, very good example of a masterpiece in composition and sound, the upcoming album ‘Vökudraumsins fangi’ by Auðn should not be missed. As usual, the guys from Auðn have done a very great job, if not THE best job so far.