November 15, 2017

Auðn - Auðn

By Hera Vidal. Iceland has become known as one of metal’s most buzzed-about places, especially since their music scene is home to some of the biggest names in black metal right now. We know that Iceland’s climate serves as inspiration to the raw emotion
By Hera Vidal.

Cover art by Víðir 'Mýrmann' Þrastarson

Iceland has become known as one of metal’s most buzzed-about places, especially since their music scene is home to some of the biggest names in black metal right now. We know that Iceland’s climate serves as inspiration to the raw emotion behind the music, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that anything that comes out of Iceland is worthy of note. However, my preferences lie towards the atmospheric, so when I saw this album, I decided to take the plunge and listen to it.

Auðn is a relatively young band, having only released this album, but they already sound like pros. They are already set in the way they wanted to sound, and it shows. Everything about their musicianship sounds impressive, and it comes as no surprise that their atmosphere is one of the most noticeable things this album has to offer. Auðn’s atmosphere may be cold, but there is also some warmth that is offered to the listener. The warmth stems from the album’s melodic nature, which is strange considering how most atmospheric black metal is supposed to sound bleak and cold. However, the highly melodic sound and the bleak atmosphere provide a beautiful sound that makes it greater than itself. It literally takes the listener elsewhere, and transcends them to a place where they can forget about everything for a while. Given how this album is 36 minutes long, it seems Auðn thought it appropriate to make their debut succinct and enjoyable.

Now, another thing worthy of note is their production value. I try to not focus on production a lot, but their production is so clean and so well-done that one can’t help but notice how elevated it sounds. In my listening experience, black metal albums don’t have good production values, and, if they do, they tend to emphasize a part of their sound while staying relatively the same elsewhere. What Auðn has done is place emphasis on parts that are stressed throughout the tracks, but have also kept the album consistent—there are no stray notes or stray sounds. When these parts are stressed, you can hear all the different elements they have added into the layers of music—you can hear the deep bass, the clean vocals, and the syncopated drumming. For a band whose name translates to “wasteland”, there is nothing desolate or barren about anything this album has to offer. It’s beautiful and grand, which is a big statement coming from a young band.

In short, Auðn is a gem of an album that has a lot to offer and say in the span of 36 minutes. This feature makes the album digestible and enjoyable. The best part is that this album gets better with every listen, and you can always come back to it for comfort. I have a feeling we are going to see more from Auðn, and, when they do decide to release another album, I hope it is just as fantastic as this debut.

Tagged with 2014, atmospheric black metal, Auðn, Hera Vidal
2 comments:
  1. They actually have a new album just released in November.

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    1. You're right of course. We'll probably get around to that in 2020 :)

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