Vaura - Sables review

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Band: Vaura
Album: Sables
Release date: April 2019

01. Espionage
02. Zwischen
03. The Lightless Ones
04. The Ruins (Hymne)
05. No Guardians
06. Eidolon
07. Basilisk (The Infinite Corpse)
08. Sables

A lot of prog bands use '80s influence in a pretty gimmicky way. Very few bands actually make retro music that doesn't feel like it's trying to be on Stranger Things. Might be the fact that this supergroup has members of Kayo Dot and Gorguts.

Vaura are pretty elusive and hard to tag. They got a lot of attention from metalheads because most band members are part of fairly popular metal bands, like Toby Driver (Kayo Dot/Maudlin Of The Well) and Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts/Dysrhythmia), and also because they are signed to Profound Lore and have toured with metal bands. And sure, there were some harsh vocals and some riffs here and there that were clearly post-black metal-inspired, but for the most part Vaura are not metal. Well, now on Sables, they took whatever metal influence their first two records had and threw it out the window.

Instead, Sables fees like it takes a blend of the dark side of '80s pop, with a lot of post-punk, new wave, and goth rock influence (think The Cure, New Order, and The Chameleons) and putting it through a more modern experimental prog rock lens. Hence, for a record so synth-focused, there's so much technicality in the bass (especially the bass) and drums and guitars and such a great sound quality to it that I can't help but feel like I'm floating through the music itself. I know how cheesy that sounds, but I'm not using this comparison lightly. This is a record that is for the most part very scenic and subdued and focused on creating light dark atmospheres, akin to the '80s music that they're paying homage to.

But a subtler homage is one to the great influences of vocalist Josh Strawn, that being Scott Walker, who died this year and who, with 1995's Tilt, spearheaded this blend of popular and weird experimental music that Vaura pull from here. That may also be due to the producer, Peter Walsh, having worked with Walker. With all the choruses and the sweet sounds of the guitars, there's still, whether subtle or obvious, a consistently dark feeling to the whole record. And part of why Vaura doesn't feel like it rehashes the '80s is because they understood exactly what made the music from that period so dark or so special and used that instead of using it akin to how a movie would use a reference to pop culture from that era.

Sables works as more than just a retro record. It's a record that takes sounds from a lost era and takes them forward instead of rehashing them, creating a very powerful and moody album that strikes a balance between the dark, the familiar, and the uncanny, all while not forgetting to remind us from time to time how great they are at their instruments without falling into obvious technical prog traps.

Wait a minute, this isn't metal.


Written on 27.04.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 55 users
28.04.2019 - 04:55
Au Pays Natal
The production on this record is flawless. Excellent review and thanks.

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