The last I heard from Aurora Borealis was Time, Unveiled, way back in 2002. Somehow I had my head completely up my ass and missed 2006’s Relinquish. I feel like an idiot about that, because not only is new AB mandatory listening and a cause for celebration, but main-man Ron Vento has always been one of the coolest guys in the entire Metal underground. So, I’m going to track down a copy of Relinquish immediately, and in the meantime I have already given Timeline about a dozen spins. This concept album (about nothing less than the entire history of the universe, from beginning to end and beyond, to the birth of the next one) is an intense, vicious, complex work of art, and the recording and production are absolutely flawless. Recording technology has improved so much over the years that when I first started Metal Curse zine (a jillion years ago, in late 1989) an album that sounded this amazing would have cost literally millions to record, if it would have even been possible. It’s difficult to review this because I want nothing more than to simply sit here and experience its majesty. Ron has always been a genius songwriter, so when I say that this is exactly what I was expecting from Aurora Borealis, please understand that it’s a compliment. These intricate Death Metal compositions feature a little Black Metal injection, partially due to Ron’s snarly vocals. New drummer Mark Green is amazing and apparently indefatigable, and with the addition of Jason Ian-Vaughn Eckert back on bass (last heard with AB on 1998’s Praise the Archaic Lights Embrace), this is the strongest lineup Ron’s ever assembled.
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