The Constant

Aoria was a side project of sorts when it was created several years ago by a trio of supremely talented Swedes: Erik Nisson (A Swarm of the Sun, Kausal), Niklas Sandin (Katatonia) and Robin Bergh (October Tide). For various reasons, the band was put on hold and enjoyed a loyal, underground cult following. Finally in 2011, Aoria was brought back to life and the three veterans finally laid the groundwork for what would eventually become their debut full-length The Constant.

In an expected venture down a familiar path, The Constant is overflowing with sweeping atmosphere and emotion, not unlike the work the three men have helped create in their main bands. The mournful sounds of October Tide and the mighty Katatonia are all over the six songs that comprise The Constant and anybody who fancies himself a fan of either of those bands (or similar artists) will inevitably enjoy what Aoria has created.

As expected, the songs are moody and depressing yet tied together in a beautiful bundle of musicality, a talent for which these cats are known. Slower, melodic passages are the norm on The Constant and the trio has captured the very essence of sorrow and loneliness on each of the tracks. Without a hint of abrasiveness or heavy riffs anywhere to be found, Aoria has taken the formula that has made their proper bands successful and channeled it into this and it works very well.

Naysayers might gripe that they’ve essentially taken elements from their main bands and simply added them to their own album, but that’s not entirely the case. Granted, listeners will immediately pick up on the Katatonia/October Tide trappings, but it’s not like Nisson, Sandin and Bergh have taken an easy route with leftover or castoff ideas from their bread and butter. Though the album does follow the same sort of blueprint their main bands do, they’ve slowed down their approach and made them even more mournful at times. Album closer and absolute highlight “An Overwhelming Calm” demonstrates this perfectly.

The Constant is not a revelation of sorts and it’s not like the three men have reinvented the wheel here. They’ve branched off into their own world and created an album that will most certainly appeal to the depressive rock/metal crowd, a sub genre of metal that has seen an explosion of sorts over the past few years.

Does it sound a bit too similar to Katatonia and the like? Of course it does. But it doesn’t mean The Constant is a cheap store brand version of the band or any others. It’s a solid album of beautifully depressing moments created by three men who are masters at this sort of thing. And for fans of this type of music, it’s the perfect partner for anybody with a propensity of sitting alone in the dark and wallowing in their own misery.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
January 24th, 2013


  1. Commented by: gordeth

    Aw man, you had me until the “without a hint of abrasiveness or heavy riffs…” part. I mean, I like some mellow music, but Katatonia’s newer lighter material hasn’t been doing a whole lot for me. If this was a heavier version of Katatonia, I would be all over it. At least I still have the upcoming October Tide album to look forward to. Nice write up, though. I’ll at least preview some of this to see if it might stick.

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