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Review: Aura - A Different View From The Same Side
A Different View From The Same Side

Label: My Kingdom Music
Year released: 2008
Duration: 67:43
Tracks: 7
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: October 16, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.2/5 (64%) (5 Votes)

Forming in 1996, it's taken these guys four demos and 12 years before this, their debut full-length album was released. With a typically progressive sounding album title, even a cursory listen to these guys shows an obvious worship of the original prog rockers such as Genesis and Yes as well as their more metal contemporaries such as Dream Theater and Queensryche.

The major thing to strike me about this album is just how drenched in synthesizers and keyboards it is. I mean, they have extravagant synthesizer solos over keyboard and piano interludes for Christ's sake. The classic Hammond sound from the 70's can regularly be heard too, just to keep it truly prog. There's a fair few musical parts that really remind me of Rush too, which was to be expected given the band's influences. Although the guitars aren't particularly pushed to the forefront on any track here, they do occasionally slide forward to splash out an overstated solo (which, to be fair, is usually followed up with a synthesizer counterpart solo directly afterwards). Vocally, Giovanni (who, in classic prog style, is also the drummer) has a fairly good clear voice with a nice tone to it, though he rarely shows off much power, as he's often crooning softly.

Ten years ago I wouldn't have been able to listen to this at all, but, given my now expanded musical tastes and knowledge, this is still only just about bearable to my ears. As professional and musically proficient these guys undoubtedly are, it's just a little too cheesy and pretentious for its own good at times. Bizarrely, musically it often reminds me of the part in Spinal Tap when they're performing the proggy synthesizer laden midway point of "Rock 'n' Roll Creation", as Derek Smalls is still stuck inside his cocoon-like pod. But I'm odd like that.

Still, if you're of ever thought Dream Theater should really take a few more pages out of early Genesis's book, this album would definitely be right up your winding progressive street.

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