There are times when an album cover tells everything needed to know about the music. Such is the case with Alunar, the debut album from U.S. based act Aureole. The fantastic artwork by Ariella Vaystukh depicts a crumbling fortress, serene and majestic despite the harsh treatment of time; isolated in the depths of space where the devastating loneliness is equaled only by the vast beauty of the untainted cosmos. Solo project by the ever toiling Markov Soroka, who also spearheads Eternium and Slow, Aureole turns toward the cosmos with a vacuous and consuming form of ambiance and atmospheric black metal that brings to mind the works of Alrakis and Darkspace.
This isn’t the type of album that should be approached precariously; it’s enveloping and, despite the minimalistic nature of the music, will transport you to the very gates of the citadel, if you allow it time. The cosmic ambiance and hauntingly atmospheric black metal collide to form a vacuous and ethereal amalgamation of music. The music surges forward throughout the album’s running time, constantly beckoning you forward with a palpable momentum. While a lot of atmospheric black metal bands tend to bombard the sense with cheesy synths, midis and pretentious song structures, Alunar revels in the beauty of quietude and simplicity.