Aara - En Ergo Einai
Debemur Morti Productions
Atmospheric Epic Black Metal
5 songs (33'50")
Release year: 2020
Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Swiss Aara give a lesson of what monumental epic black metal should sound like on En Ergo Einai. Epic is a label that can be attached to many things. Long, orchestral or pompous all count as epic. There is another level of epic though, something that sounds like say … old Soviet hymn. I may not like the country it represented, but having grown up with that music, I can attest that piece of music is damn stirring. En Ergo Einai is Soviet hymn level stirring, only set up somewhere in medieval Europe, in a baroque cathedral, with Aara’s members names and masks they are wearing speaking to the time’s and place’s mystique.

If you undertake listening of En Ergo Einai, you have to be absolutely prepared and receptive of dense steady barrage of rhythms. The propulsion here is non-stop. Double bass onto blastbeats, and in reverse, there is very much not a song on the album which wouldn’t use the same foundation. There are a few clearings to come up for air on Stein auf Stein, and the rain plus distant bells intro of Aargesang (Aare II) offers another respite, but other than those short few and far between moments, En Ergo Einai will be attacking you constantly with its rhythm section. Onto this pillar the Aara threads melodic progression with subtle chord and line shifts, with melodies borrowed from gothic shrines and maybe even catholic masses from across Europe.The most dramatic melody makes an appearance on Entelechie, and while the opening half of Telos is a little non-descript, it is the mid-point melody which saves the day, developing in the end into a fully-fledged solar soar.

The vocals of Aara don’t lack in epic character either. From the opener Arkanum, the voices of Aara sound like a band of titans, a choir of mighty strong men joining in their chants standing shoulder to shoulder. The titans get replaced by a more typical black metal troll on Aargesang (Aare II), but they return on Entelechie and allow some troll creepiness to accompany them on Telos. Maybe a little cleaner than you would expect black metal vocals to be, these epic vocals are a total fit on En Ergo Einai. Low register, but set against non-stop percussive barrage, they will disorient and will sound almost angelic after half hour of listen. And who is to say that angels have to sing gently? In Aara’s version of heavenly creatures they roar, more powerful than trumpets which brought down Jericho walls.

Certainly an experience, En Ergo Einai is as colossal and stupendous as it is body bruising. For Aara these qualities went well together, but you have to be accepting of the album running its way on the same stylistical course without deviation. Doubling the length would make En Ergo Einai boring, so knowing when to stop and how to edit served the Swiss well. It wouldn't surprise me if I learned that Aara members attended a mid-era Samael show or two.

Killing Songs :
Arkanum, Stein auf Stein, Entelechie
Alex quoted 84 / 100
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