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(57 min, DVS)
TRACK LIST: 1. Timelines 5:25 2. Underground 4:22 3. Everything for Her 5:57 4. No Answer From You 5:06 5. Masquerade 4:35 6. Web of Memories 6:19 7. The Moon & the Red House 4:21 8. Forgotten Story 5:37 9. Tribal Innocence 5:14 10. Something to Remember 6:38 11. I'm Looking For 9:52 LINEUP: Stefano Panunzi - keyboards; vocals Mick Karn - basses; vocals Mike Appelbaum - trumpet, flugelhorn Nicola Alesini - saxophone, clarinet Giacomo Anselmi - el. & ac. guitars Nicola Lori - el. & ac. guitars Gianpaolo Rao - drums, percussion Peter Chilvers - string ensemble
Prolusion. THE AURORA PROJECT was formed in Holland in 1999, and already within several months the band had started working on their debut album "Unspoken Words". The recording sessions were completed in 2003, and during the next two years the musicians were searching for a suitable record label to release their first brainchild.
Analysis. Overall, the style that this formation plays in can be defined as a conceptual blend of sympho prog and doom metal with occasional power metal intonations and no overtly complex arrangements. The influences of Anathema, Candlemass and Pink Floyd reveal themselves everywhere on the album, but more often in latent than in open form. The vocals are clean, delivered in a typically dramatic fashion, while the instrumental arrangements are often brutally harsh and powerful. The serene keyboard intro to the opening cut transforms into a sad song with memorable melodic lines, but with no complex structures or odd meter either; the general thematic development remains fully predictable. The Betrayal follows without a pause and sounds much heavier. Besides, it features a distinct oriental flavor, which in conjunction with a strong emotional component brings an essential dose of variety to the music's texture. The tracks: 3, 7, 9, 11 and 13 are spoken texts with a nice electronic background and are okay, in particular for their shortness, except the seventh piece System Log, which is overextended without a sense of moderation. The passages of acoustic guitar in combination with those of synth-clarinet make Unspoken Words II both exquisite and elegant, while Untold Prophecy is somewhat monotonous and, thus, less impressive. The rest of the songs are excellent, filled with intensive maneuvers, stylistically sliding between hard rock with doom metal tendencies and neo symphonic progressive. The last track, entitled The Resurrection, is the most accomplished composition, on all levels, and is the most compelling song on the CD. Its 7/8 meter brings a considerable intricacy to the vocal part, the instrumental arrangements ingeniously evolving throughout. A combination of the smooth choir singing with the rapid guitar solos in the second part of the opus seems to be the band's greatest achievement in the field of innovation.
Conclusion. The shortage of vivid chord progressions should not be considered a serious drawback in the presence of memorable melodies, and "Unspoken Words" is abundant in such. On the whole the album leaves a pretty pleasant impression and can be evaluated highly enough considering it's a debut effort. Recommended to lovers of neo prog / metal.
VF: February 20, 2006
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