There’s something so majestically enthralling about bands that inoculate their approach to music with influences of late eighties/early nineties new wave, synth and industrial music that would make Trent Reznor and Depeche Mode applaud with a tear in their eyes. It’s nostalgic, and above all, much more animated in the entire process that which the artists perfect as opposed to many other electronic entities in this day and age. One of these acts that so happen to use that same methodology is New Yorkian quartet Vaura, who have returned for their first studio album in six years entitled “Sables”.
Throughout the course of “Sables”, Vaura take a drastic step disparate to 2012’s “Selenelion” and 2013’s “The Missing”; introducing the nature of dark new wave and electronic music in chorus to the band’s previous elements of avant-garde and post metal. Here, Vaura arrange these components reminiscent to A Flock of Seagulls, Nine Inch Nails, and The Black Queen, all the while amalgamating them with the likes of Isis and Pelican. Albeit its lyrical counterpart is abysmal and brooding, the melodic surface that’s enveloped in the mix takes an everlasting meditative effect that to some degree, feels optimistic.
the first half that takes place in the record, “Sables” offers more in the
spectrum of industrial and dark-pop music, but do not shy away from the use of
distorted guitars as the album progresses. This can be picked up almost
immediately in the opener Espionage,
where Josh Strawn channels
inspiration from Trent Reznor and David
Gahan in his vocals. Zwischen too
takes a step akin to the previous track, though somewhat slower, and sort of in
a mesmerically ambient state that feel almost gothic.
The Lightless Ones and No Guardians introduce themselves as much more upbeat pieces to the record that respectively pays homage to the Post-Punk genre, as does The Ruins (Hymne) but as a less sanguine piece in terms of its harmonious nature, and is centred as a light guitar-oriented, progressive rock addition to the album. Eidolon takes on a style somewhat adjacent to The Cure in an atmospherically aggressive style, followed by Basilisk (The Infinite Corpse) which inhabits the mellow nature that Nine Inch Nails and perhaps even David Bowie would also melodically inhabit–where a myriad of spellbinding synthesizers and electronic percussions take over the majority of the track. The band then save the best for last with the title track, which sums up everything that made this album what it is. As the darkest and most perplexing addition to “Sables”, the title track is more atmospherically driven with the cohesion of clean and distortedly ringing guitars, eerie low synths and an impressive use of double kicking percussion.
In all honesty, I had to pause each track to process and confirm everything that I had just been exposed to in “Sables”, as this was far from what I had ever expected to hear within the first listen. To me, this serves as more than just another album that speaks diversity and consistency; this is a rarity that shines brightly for a band that knows how to keep their composure and stay true to their skills in song writing while being experimental and don’t completely forgo with what they had done in previous releases. Yes, and as dissimilar “Sables” is to its predecessors, it still accentuates the band’s ability to be distinctive and still be so appealing to first time listeners and long-time fans. This is one of the healthiest, most crisp and detailed full-lengths that 2019 has offered thus far, and must not be overlooked by anyone that loves to further their taste in music and discover what amazing acts such as Vaura can offer.
Pre-Order the Album Here from Profound Lore Records: