February 8, 2014

Vaura - The Missing

Written by Aaron Sullivan.

Vaura are a ‘supergroup’ of sorts. The band features Toby Driver(maudlin of the Well, Kayo Dot) and Kevin Hufnagel(Gorguts, Dysrhythmia). Both names that may be recognizable to Metal fans. They combine with drummer Charlie Schmid and vocalist/guitarist Josh Strawn(Religious to Damn) to form Vaura. There was a ton of pre album buzz about The Missing. I had never heard of the band. But between Drivers involvement, and it coming out on Profound Lore I figured it was worth looking into. I’m glad I did.

Photo by Matt Arena

To try and describe the music with a simple genre title would be a bit difficult. The album contains bits of Post-Punk, Black Metal, Prog, and Goth(Darkwave or Coldwave are also words I read associated with them but not genres I am all that familiar with). Of those genres the one that is felt on all of the tracks is Goth, a Sisters of Mercy/Bauhaus feel. Combined with hints of Joy Division Post-Punk. Within the ten song album they pull off dark and brooding, melodic and catchy, sometimes all in one song. Songs rarely stand still. Vocals are Bowie-esque and mix well with the music. The production is full. Drums pounding over the shimmering guitars parts. I dare anyone to hear "Mare of the Snake" and not have it stuck in your head for days. It’s got radio hit all over it without selling out any of the integrity the band members bring.

Photo by Matt Arena

This was an album of the year for me. It was well worth the wait and the hype. It hooked me the moment I heard it and didn’t put it down for some time. Even as I hear it while writing this I find myself falling in love with it all over again. A real triumph; it’s addition to many other year end lists is well deserved.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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