Saturday, November 10, 2012

Aldaaron - Suprême Silence

Aldaaron are a French pagan/black metal band. They released their second full-length, Suprême Silence, back in April. It was my first encounter with the band.

This was one of those records I was drawn to just because the album art looked so cool. At least, it appeals to my sensibilities. But the music behind the cover was worth the time. As is often true of black metal bands that hover on the borderline with pagan metal, the songs here are relatively long and mostly move at a relaxed pace. There are livelier sections, but the album rarely rushes. Personally I like that quality. It's not the best if you're aiming for bash-your-skull-in intensity, but it makes for a pleasurable listening experience. The production, too, falls into a pleasant middle-ground between clarity and hostility.

This record has a solid amount of variety, as some tracks definitely carry more black metal than others. The pagan metal end of their sound features keyboards/synths to an extent that walks right on the border of being too much, while the more black metal tracks lean primarily on traditional metal instrumentation. The vocals are solid throughout; they are not particularly exceptional, but they get the job done just fine. The guitar work actually falls into a similar vein of being very slid and enjoyable without really blowing my mind.

The standout on this record is probably the drumming, which is fast and intense while remaining versatile enough to bend and flex with the differing sides of the music. Throughout, I kept finding my ear drawn to the drums to an extent that they dominated my attention on some tracks.

All in all, this was a good record. I enjoyed it, and I'd listen to it again. It didn't jump out at me as being anything truly masterful or essential, but I'd never discourage someone from giving it a whirl themselves.

Grade: B
Good pagan/black metal with strong drumming and solid performances throughout.

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