Aurora Borealis

Album Title: 
World Shapers
Release Date: 
Friday, March 28, 2014
Review Type: 

Somewhere in the midst of the nineties, Ron Vento left Death / Black act Lestregus Nosferatus in order to form a new band. It meant the end for that band, but FYI, they reformed (without Ron) a couple of years ago with an adapted moniker, Le Streghe Nosferatus. But that’s another story…

Ron started writing his own material, and as multi-instrumentalist he was able to record quasi all stuff himself, except for the drum parts; it’s a constant within the history of Aurora Borealis - that’s how he wanted to call his own project. He decided to work with session drummers to finalise his material, and when he joined forces with Tony Laureano (you know, the guy involved with notorious bands like Nile, Angelcorpse, Malevolent Creation, Naphobia or Insidious Disease), he had a first mini-album (Mansions Of Eternity) recorded under this Aurora Borealis-moniker. Two years later, in 1998, Aurora Borealis released a first full length (Praise The Archaic Lights Embrace), which had Derek Roddy, another über-famous musician (think: Hate Eternal, Divine Empire, Nile, Council Of The Fallen, Malevolent Creation and others), as session drummer this time (there were no ‘troubles’ with Tony, but this guy had his duties and occupations with the other bands he was involved with). The second full length, Northern Lights, was released in 2000 by Ron and, once again, his friend and colleague Derek on drums, and in 2002, there was another full studio record, Time Unveiled, this time completed with drummer Tim Yeung (World Under Blood, Morbid Angel, Vital Remains, Hate Eternal). For the next album (Relinquish), Ron worked once again with Tony, and the 2011-album Timeline: The Beginning And End Of Everything, was done with session percussionist Mark Green, whom you might know from Pyrexia, Embludgeonment, Insatanity or The Adept.

Once again with Mark behind the drum kit, Ron had his newest album, World Shapers, recorded at his own Nightsky Studios (think: Rain Fell Within, Azure Emote, A Sickness Called Conscious, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder). It brings forty four minutes of material that characterises Aurora Borealis, i.e. energetic, raging, black-edged and technically high-levelled semi-blasting and rhythmic Death Metal with a profound American vibe. …traditional USDM indeed… But it is not ‘just’ USDM, and even though all formerly mentioned top-drummers hail from the top-level within the American Death-scene, Aurora Borealis claim to be part of this Elite. With almost each former effort they came close to this top-category, but I think they never fully reached the highest order. In this album’s case it isn’t but the same sh*t. World Shapers is a great work, but if you compare it with the likes of, let’s say, Nile, Hate Eternal, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel etc., it is just not enough to outreach them. But… this album (once again) does come close, very close, to the supremacy of those protagonists. I would recommend some more variation and a minuscule own-faced identity, and I am sure the final score will be joined by ten points as bonus. Until then…