Aara
Triade III: Nyx

Switzerland is known for many things.. Celtic Frost, Coroner, Swiss Cheese, Algebra, beautiful Alps and add Aara to the list as they are one of the best atmospheric black metal bands around today.

Triade III: Nyx is their fifth album and in their short existence since 2018 they have also released 2 ep’s along with these full-length albums.  The majority of their output has been released during the pandemic and this album is the third and last of the album trilogy based on a gothic novel “Melmoth the Wanderer” by Charles Maturin.  The band creates many emotive melodies and Aara are getting better and better with each album and have come a long way since their 2019 debut: So fallen alle Tempel.

The band does write rather long songs and just like the previous albums, you will get a limited amount of songs, but they are packed with TONS of extraordinary black metal sounds, harmonies, and melodies and drenched in emotive atmosphere.

6 songs in 41 minutes, “Heimgesucht” opens the album and is the longest track at eight-and-a-half minutes.  Opening with some acoustic atmosphere, the song gets right into the blasting with some excellent guitar harmonies and guitar solos simultaneously over the blasting and the double bass is pummeling over the mid-paced moments.  Vocals do not come into the picture until two-and-a-half minutes have passed.  If you’re not a fan of the higher, shrieking black metal vocals then these gents may turn you off.  For me, these vocal tones fit the music.  Although the band is emotive and creates a lot of atmosphere-at times there is a stark coldness to their sounds, which makes the higher-register vocals blend in quite well.  There are plenty of screams over the blasts, or to signal a blast beat and the harmonies on this song are simply breathtaking.  And the band is heavy as well.  The rhythm guitar played under the harmonies are strikingly heavy.  Around the 5 minute mark the song gets into some mid-paced heaviness and I swear that double bass sound will tear your body in half in 0.0 seconds.  Terrific way to open the album.

You cannot even catch your breath when the holy shit moments happens immediately with the second song – “Emphase der Seelenpein”.  No slow build-up, no atmospheric intro – just straight into the blast beat which is tight AF.  After about a minute of high velocity black metal, the song slows down and the atmosphere comes in with more guitar harmonies and vocal shrieks from a hellacious cavernous blackhole.  The harmonies, over the blast beats, are incredibly catchy and the song brings forth some acoustic elements too.  Check out some of the drum rolls too – they are on point, well-placed and tight. Very snappy and sharp. The blast part returns and there is so much going on with the blasting, harmonies and tempo shifts.

Aara loves erupting out of the starting gates a lot on this album and  “Des Wanderers Traum” is no exception as the blast starts out of the starting gates.  This moment sounds a bit too samey to “Emphase der Seelenpein”, but alas they mix it up with some mid-paced rumbling heaviness with a lot of atmospheres, early on, around the two-minute mark.  The song gets back to the blasting, soon thereafter.  “Edo et Edam” ends the album, and the song ends very atmospherically and calmly, and serenely.  The band ends the album very strongly, just as they opened the album – strong.  This last song incorporates more tempo shifts and blasts and they slow it down a bit too.  This song needs to be in their live setlist, for sure.

Aara’s Triade III: Nyx is a damn killer black metal album.  Make no mistake the band uses a lot of melody and harmony, but is fairly brutal with the high-octane blasting that is going on all over the place.  I will say, I would like to hear some slower passages work themselves into the songs and stay longer than they do.  It’s like Aara are saying ok, enough of that time to rip into a blast again. And I am not even suggesting it’s done all the time, however when the band gets into those slower, atmospheric moments, they break up the chaos that surrounds other parts of the songs, but they do not stick around long enough.

Other than that the production is great, the use of keyboards adds a lot of depth to the overall sound.  The album cover seems to evoke a path going somewhere dark and potentially evil, but the beacon of light, from the lamppost, maybe says otherwise. It also ties into the band’s second album, from 2020 En Ergô Einai, not part of this trilogy, but the building light sconces tie into this a bit, imo.  All in all, Aara play some of the best atmospheric and emotive black metal out there and this is killer.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 3rd, 2023

Comments

  1. Commented by: Erik T

    I really loved Ergo album but this trilogy hasnt quite gripped me. this is the best of the three though. I miss the choirs they used on Ergo. Great review


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