Released: January 25th, 2019 / De Tenebrarum Principio
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine
My favor of black metal has been a bit mixed throughout the years. As I state from time to time, yes I am a fan of it, but a picky one that does not allow me to engulf myself in the genre. It is one aspect that the “true” black metallers tend to frown on. Oh well, to each their own.
At first spin as with each one following, this Swedish / Norwegian duo offer up a very familiar style of black metal. Ringing true to the bands of ole, the music portrayed here is that of the Norwegian Paganized black metal that was released in droves in the ‘90’s. Their sound is cold, dark, bleak, and at times, atmospheric in nature.
While what Aera is playing here is a shout out to the old-school hordes of black metal, it is nothing to mock about. What they do with THE CRAVING WITHIN, they do extremely well. Musically, it is a very well-played album from start to finish. These guys are accomplished at what they do here and it only takes a couple of minutes into the opening track to hear just how skilled they are.
So maybe Aera is not the most original sounding black metal band out there today, but really folks, it is a genre that to me does not allow a lot of wiggle room for bands to move around in. So what you get is what you get here, a really good new black metal album that has all the likings of those whom have traveled this road before.
Fans of Ulver, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar with enjoy this latest outing by Aera. It is also a good starter for metalheads in general to check out as it is not so over the top extreme black metal. Very well done indeed.
Ulf Kveldulfsson – All instruments, Songwriting
Stein Akslen – Vocals