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4.28 | 7 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2014


1. Children Of The Mist (12:14)
2. Aura (13:39)
3. The Awakening (10:09)
4. Farewell (8:24)
5. Pillars Of The Earth (12:11)

Total Time 56:37


- Andy Marshall / Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Pads, Tin whistle

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Austin Lunn / Drums, Bodhrán
- John Becker / Strings
- Nevena Krasteva / Viola (#4)
- Beth Frieden / Gaelic Vocals

About this release

Released by Fortriu Productions, June 6th, 2014 (digital) / Released by Northern Silence Productions, June 20th, 2014 (CD), March 13th, 2015 (Vinyl - 700 copies), March 15th, 2016 (Cassette - 200 copies).

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition

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SAOR AURA reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Saor's sort-of second sort-of first album (Andy Marshall, the man behind this one-man project, put out the preceding Roots under the project name of Àrsaidh before changing it retrospectively to Saor) offers a really nicely judged blend of atmospheric black metal of the most epic, sweeping sort, and carefully chosen aspects of Celtic folk music.

There's lots of folk/metal blends out there, but I find that a lot of them leave me a little cold because in coming up with the mixture the projects in question don't show much judgement when it comes to what to leave out, which I think is a mistake. Trying to incorporate all the metal and folk tropes and instrumentation into a composition at once just leaves you with a mess; instead, Marshall selects his folk incorporations carefully, a whistle there, a viola there, a bodhrán drum over there, and makes sure that the folk inclusions serve rather than disrupting the atmosphere thus established.

Lyrically speaking, Marshall manages to pull off the trick of expressing pride in his homeland of Scotland and in his Celtic heritage without making it sound like he's coming anywhere near more hateful territory, which gives stealth NSBM bands who try to muddy the waters by just claiming they're singing about ancestral pride even less of an excuse. (If it's this easy to get your message across without steering into ambiguously fashy territory, then if you've ended up there it can only be because you either didn't think carefully enough or you meant to end up there in the first place.)

On the whole, Saor deserve to take their place in the current pagan pantheon of British atmospheric black metal band simply on the basis of this masterful project, and I'll be making sure to hear more of their work when I can.

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