Aureole – Alunarian Bellmaw

A five-year silence from any band is enough to get the fans thinking if there is to be any follow-up coming in the future, especially when the social media presence for the act becomes minimal at best. Granted, the man behind Aureole has been anything but still in the last few years with other projects like Drown and Tchornobog definitely causing a stir when they released material, but it has been Aureole that has been suspiciously silent. Out of the void, though, it has returned with an EP that’s just as expansive, mysterious, conceptual, and elusive that we could come to expect from the likes of Aureole.

With this being the first out of an alleged series of EPs as well as a full-length that will supposedly come this year, listening to what’s done within “Alunarian Bellmaw” really does feel like a prelude of sorts. That’s not to say that this is one of those releases that do a whole lot of setup only to leave us wanting more, but, rather, Aureole feels like it’s setting the stage for a larger story while still getting into the specifics of whatever the hell is going on at what I presume is still the Citadel Alunar with its stone golems and wild cosmos. It’s with such a fantastic backdrop that Aureole gets right to work by giving us a sound that feels as though it’s drawn directly from its debut album with every turn here offering us bl;ack metal glory the likes of which that we truly do need more of. “Alunarian Bellmaw” never once goes too hard on the intensity throughout the runtime of the album as these three tracks opt for a more restrained and thus atmospheric feel that really does make you feel like you’re floating through space, and with minimal vocals (if there are any, it’s truly hard to tell) to guide us from one glistening star system to the next, it’s the whole of this near 20-minute runtime that feels no less than enchanting and mystifying like few others of its contemporaries.

Much of what’s accomplished in these three tracks is very much what we’d come to expect from the mind behind Aureole, but it’s simultaneously that he manages to keep us guessing as to its execution. For the moment, gone are the ways of bombastic presentations and sprawling environments with the cosmos screeching in silence or pure agony in the background with a much more subtle and slow burning atmosphere the centerpiece of what’s going on within “Alunarian Bellmaw”. As it stands, I have no idea what the rest of 2021 has in store for Aureole, but if the report is true that this is just the first of more to come, then I’ll wait as long as I have to in order to see this glorious work followed up.

LISTEN to “Alunarian Bellmaw” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Aureole on Facebook here.

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