Distributor/Label: Nuclear Blast
Buy Album URL: http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about/4804238.auri.html
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/AURlband/
Johanna Kurkela: (Vocals/viola)
Troy Donockley: (Acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, uilleann pipes, low whistles, aerophone, bodhran, keys, voices)
Tuomas Holopainen: (Keys and backing vocals)
- The Space Betweem
- I Hope Your World Is Kind
- Skeleton Tree
- Desert Flower
- Night 13
- The Name Of The Wind
- Aphrodite Rising
- Underthing Solstice
- Them Thar Chanterell (Feat Liquor in The Well)
Auri are new yet their ancestry can be traced back to 2011 when ‘Aphrodite Rising’ appeared out of the mist. Now, the band has solidified to an entity which has produced their first full length self-titled album released through Nuclear Blast. The group consists of Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela (vocals/viola) and two Nightwish members. They are Troy Donockley (Acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, uilleann pipes, low whistles, aerophone, bodhran, keys, voices) and Tuomas Holopainen (keys and backing vocals). The trio have united to bring something different and not wholly confined by earthly/material limits albeit being in a twelve track album format.
There are some very clever and intuitive songs throughout this album with some very intricate structures. The multi-instrumental elements fill a vast multi-layered landscape with near limitless potential for growth and expansion. Not every song is a wonder though, as some of the combinations fall off the radar without having too much impact. The duet, for example, on ‘Desert Flower’ comes off a little flat but it has some excellent instrumental moments.
There’s so much appeal though throughout the album with many songs striking a chord deep within which possess true resonance and staying power. This is certainly helped by Johanna Kurkela’s mesmerizing voice which has an impeccable range from very soft lyrical whispers to high, spiraling climbs. She holds phenomenal control over her voice. ‘I Hope Your World Is Kind’ serves as an early example of this as does the next track ‘Skeleton Tree’ which implements some interesting Celtic/folk influences from the uilleann pipes, bodhran drums and the well tempered viola.
Review By Pete Mutant