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THE AURORA PROJECT

Progressive Metal • Netherlands


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The Aurora Project biography
THE AURORA PROJECT is an atmospheric progressive/symphonic metal band from The Netherlands.

In 1999, while playing the famous fantasy card game "Magic: The Gathering," the six future members of THE AURORA PROJECT became acquainted with each other. They found out that, not only do they all love "Magic",they also share a passion for mysterious, dark rock music. At this point, THE AURORA PROJECT is a work in the making. THE AURORA PROJECT's music delivers powerful atmospheric progressive rock, with a distinct metal edge where influences by bands such as 3RD AND THE MORTAL, PINK FLOYD, PORCUPINE TREE, TOOL and ANATHEMA can be found. The line-up of THE AURORA PROJECT has not changed.

THE AURORA PROJECT is Dennis Binnekade (vocals), Remco van den Berg (lead guitar), Joris Bol (drums), Marcel Guyt (keyboards), Marc Vooijs (guitar) and Rob Krijgsman (bass).

In April 2005, the band signed with the Dutch record company DVS Records. Their first album, "Unspoken Words" was released worldwide in September 2005. The album is produced and mixed by Arno Dreef and mastered by Sander van der Heide (e.g. WITHIN TEMPTATION, GUANO APES).

"Unspoken Words" - The concept album "Unspoken Words" describes a spiritual journey, based on an essay by guitarist Marc Vooijs, which centres around the statement "I feel, so I exist." Every effort has been made to emphasize this concept: deep synth-lines, a "storyteller" and an entire choir are all featured on this album. Visually, the concept is strengthened with self-produced artwork, multimedia software (the CD contains a "game" which links to the band's website) and VJ-projections at live gigs.

Presently (December 2006) THE AURORA PROJECT is working on their second album.

Everybody who likes atmospheric progressive rock, with a metal edge (think PORCUPINE TREE) will love this music, the vocals are crystal-clear and the overall sound is very melodic, with touches of PINK FLOYD. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Biography by Soul Dreamer




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Discography:
Unspoken Words, studio album (2005)
...

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THE AURORA PROJECT discography


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THE AURORA PROJECT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 23 ratings
Unspoken Words
2005
3.57 | 15 ratings
Shadow Border
2009
3.60 | 25 ratings
Selling The Aggression
2013

THE AURORA PROJECT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
{Selling It Live}
2013

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THE AURORA PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 23 ratings

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Unspoken Words
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have already reviewed the followup and given it 3.5 stars, and so I was pleasantly surprised at how much more I like this their debut. This is a concept album and really the only negatives for me are in relation to the concept where they have several short tracks that feature spoken words in an atmospheric background. I'm going to skip those tracks in the review here. What does appeal to me is that this is fairly atmospheric metal not enough to call it Experimental / Post Rock though.

"Unspoken Words" opens with atmosphere but kicks in quickly. Vocals after a minute. Great way to start the album. "Time Betrayal" kicks in hard right away before settling some when the vocals arrive. Contrasts continue. "Unspoken Words II" opens with acoustic guitar before violin joins in followed by fragile vocals. "The Untold Prophesy" features reserved vocals but a fairly heavy soundscape. It reminds me of ANATHEMA actually. Nice guitar solo after 3 minutes. "The Event Horizon" is kind of catchy with drums and guitar standing out. Synths then vocals follow as we get a fuller sound.

"The Gathering" opens with the sounds of a door slamming shut then the music comes in and builds. Vocals and a heavier sound before 1 1/2 minutes. "Unspoken Words III" is dark and atmospheric as the bass throbs and the tempo picks up. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. "Nocturnal Lament" has this good heavy sound and is mid-paced as reserved vocals come in. Great sounding track. "The Resurrection" opens with drums as riffs come in with the guitar playing over top. Vocals follow. It settles some but is still heavy. A nice relaxed guitar solo before 3 1/2 minutes. Heavier before 5 minutes with some excellent guitar to follow. "Prologue" is the spacey conclusion with lots of atmosphere. Vocals before 2 minutes followed by piano. Spoken words late.

I like this style of music alot but could live without the narration. Barely 4 stars.

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 Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.57 | 15 ratings

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Shadow Border
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Only three ratings (of which one review) and an average of 3,17. No wonder this album (and band) doesn't get the attention it deserves. I have been waiting for this successor anxiously for several years because I got intrigued after their very fine debut and an impressive gig at Symforce in 2007. Shadow Border is an excellent follow up of the near excellent debut and I wil explain why.

Unspoken Words was already great at its best moments but this album contained too many spoken passages (interludes without music) and was diminished somewhat because of those. What I already liked then and like even much more on this successor is the performances of both an excellent guitarist (Remco van den Berg) and maybe even more impressive vocalist (Dennis Binnekade) and that's a surprise coming from me because I usually don't care to much for the vocal department. But Dennis creates the sound for this high quality band and it's a shame really that so few people take the chance to check them out. In this way Shadow Border becomes a hidden gem, hail to the hidden gem but I think Aurora Project would like to see their efforts get rewarded a bit more.

I sure do because I want justice and justice is only done when this album gets 100+ ratings on this site and a (very) high average. So come on. prog metal fans: what are you waiting for ? Quit this boycott and check it out and as I always say: if you don't it's your loss. Aurora Project plays ambient and high class prog metal that in style and quality comes close to Riverside. Okay, maybe they are not quite on that huge level yet but to be compared to this great Polish band is already a big compliment I would think. 4,25 stars for Shadow Border.

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 Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.57 | 15 ratings

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Shadow Border
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. THE AURORA PROJECT are from The Netherlands and have been making music for about 10 years now, this is their second studio record. I must admit I was really surprised to see them listed under Prog-Metal after spending a few days with this record as I thought this was more like Heavy-Prog or Heavy-Neo. ARENA came to mind quite often. Mind you I haven't heard the debut which may be more in the Metal style. Anyway this is a good album that i'm sure will be rated fairly highly on this site. The vocals are good but not great and they have an accent, while the music contrasts the heavy and lighter passages constantly.

"Human Gateway" sounds so good to open as the sound builds until it kicks in heavily after a minute. Unfortunately it settles and vocals come in. Heavier again after 3 1/2 minutes and some blistering guitar to end it. "The Trial" opens with synths and heaviness. Vocals before a minute. It settles then kicks back in. "Photonic Reunion" opens with waves of synths as reserved vocals join in. It gets heavier a minute in but then lighter a minute later. Themes are repeated.

"The Confession" is heavy to open but settles when the vocals come in. Contrasts continue. Nice guitar after 3 1/2 minutes. "Another Dream" is mellow with synths as reserved vocals join in. It's fuller sounding before 2 minutes. These odd spoken words come and go. "Within The Reality" is heavy to open but settles quickly (I know i'm like a broken record) as reserved vocals come in. Spoken words before 4 minutes and later to end it. "Shadow Border" is the almost 16 1/2 minute closer. More of those contrasts throughout although it gets really heavy duty 11 minutes in.

I would have liked this a lot more if the lighter passages were removed with the vocals. Still a good album.

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 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 23 ratings

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Unspoken Words
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars High time for the review of this album but the long waiting has to do with problems with making up my mind for the rating. This only releasy by the Dutch prog metal band is another very hard doubtcase for a 3 or 4 starrating. In fact it's right in between so only thing you can do then is listen to it a few more times until you do know what to do. Well, right now I'm not entirely convinced but I will have to do the review one day so why not now ?

It's a bit of an unusual album because of the spoken interludes between some of the songs. The album starts with a short tune before my personal favourite track is next. The Betrayal is a great track, well composed and executed, pretty heavy but alternated with more quiet parts. The theme is catchy and really impressive. It's a pity it's a bit short but that's the only criticism I can think of. After a short spoken interlude it's time for a short acoustical track before another great song takes the turn (The Untold Prophecy). Also this one contains very nice guitar work and is a bit more progressive than The Betrayal. The Event Horizon is a longer track starting with great instrumental contribution and gets alternating heavy and more quiet several times. After this one of the mentioned spoken tracks but this time a long one of almost 6 minutes. I don't know what it's all about but it's SF for sure. Fans of this subject will certainly get curious with this one but I don't count myself in for that. The talking is only accompanied by keys. The Gathering is another long one with significant keyboard contribution. Sometimes they create a spacy atmosphere which comes in handy with a science fiction story. Good track this. Unspoken Words III is an instrumental track, not too heavy, a bit mysterious feeling about it, really nice. After another short interlude Nocturnal Lament continues the mysterious idea but is yet an accessible song. Last interlude sets up the grand finale called The Resurrection. Another very good track which means a pretty equable album in terms of quality. To me that's always a plus.

As stated above I'm still a bit unsure about the final rating so I will let my visit to their gig in a prog festival do the job here. They played a lot of the songs on this album live on Symforce 2007 (Tilburg) and I have to say they impressed me big time. They played on a very small stage, could hardly move but did an impeccable job there. So because of this they turn the scale to a 4 starrating. Recommended for fans of Porcupine Tree and Riverside who want to check out something else.

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 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 23 ratings

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Unspoken Words
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by Soul Dreamer

4 stars A great album with wonderful music, with one major flaw. "Unspoken Words" is a concept album, based on an essay written by guitarist Marc Vooys. The main idea behind the "Unspoken Words" concept comes from a theory found within quantum psychology, which handles around trance-state experiments. Short explanation: all emotional cognition is formed within a state of subconscious trance. The recall of such memory is done by reversing the process and music is an excellent catalyst. The storyline found within "Unspoken Words" is imaging the progression of different mental states, events chronologically following a timeline from first confrontation with new information that upsets the existing mental state to the final resurrection of the ego (=acceptation/incorporation of the new reality). The first songs of the album describe the reaction to the confrontation ("Betrayal" ,"Unspoken Words", "Event Horizon") and the last part visualizes the resulting mental state ("Gathering", "Nocturnal Lament", "Resurrection")

From the start of "Unspoken Words I", you instantly get the feeling of being pulled inside the story. The musical styles vary according to the mental process described. "The Betrayal" is angry prog metal. "The Untold Prophecy" is more melodic, almost fully dropping prog metal idiom, almost a balad. The Gathering, on the other hand, has some pretty heavy bits. The album culminates in the final song (which is like a mini-epic) "The Resurrection", a breath-taking mixture of prog metal and softer passages, which ends in a bombastic eargasm with a full choir, which imho could have lasted at least ten minutes longer... Dennis' fine voice takes you through a melodically sober, but inspired musical journey, played by a band dedicated to their music. The guitars are varied, the keyboards sound heavenly, the drums are rock-steady and Rob's bass-playing is exemplary.

So, what is the flaw of this album? Well, between the songs you'll find the short SD [...] tracks, and one long (almost 6 minutes)"System Log" track, which are spoken by a narrator. In my opinion these have no place in the album, but should have been put in the booklet as text. Now they influence the flow of the album in a very negative way.

Conclusion: The music of this CD is very, very good and sometimes even better than that, and merits fully five stars. However, due to the disturbing narrator parts I'll only give 4. But still highly recommended!!

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 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 23 ratings

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Unspoken Words
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by xentagz

4 stars If you was looking for a new Progressive combo, something beautiful a bit atmospheric and with above all a really touching music, I think that you should have a look one of the revelations of the years 2005 that comes from The Netherlands, The Aurora Project. Intelligent and not so common the music of ".Unspoken Words" will probably stay in the heads of the ones, who like me, enjoy Progressive music. Don't miss it.

Firstly, you must know that ".Unspoken Words" is a concept album. The main theme is simple, the band wanted to describe a spiritual journey. The concept album Unspoken Words describes a spiritual journey, based on an essay by their guitarist Marc, the predominant question of this project turns around the statement "I feel, so I exist". As you can see, all that is a bit philosophic and actually you will see that we have this influence on the music itself.

The guys say that they find their influences with the music of some bands like Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Anathema and even Tool. That's right, it's easy to find in the music of The Aurora Project this really atmospheric, insistent and depressive music that we can find with an Anathema or a Porcupine Tree and that's the same with Pink Floyd and the long progressive and complex guitars lines. But don't believe that the others instruments are marginal, the Bass is more than present the Drummer use to play complex rhythm and the samples and different ambiances of the keyboards are really interesting. At the end the music of The Aurora Project is maybe really calm and can sound Rock or even Pop sometime but believe me, it's always beautiful and will touch you if you're a real aficionados of Progressive music.

At the end, we have a lot of efforts on this release. With guest appearances, a real choir and even a storyteller who talk between some songs (the famous SD 9796.823. of the track-list) the production of the album is really good. You could find a lot of features like multimedia stuff and you must know that the album was mastered by Sander Van Der Heide who worked in the past with Within Temptation.

So, I suppose that you understand that you cannot miss this release especially if you like Progressive "stuff". For a first album this is a great start and I'm sure that we will see some great thing with this band in the future. ".Unspoken Words" is one of the best surprises of the years 2005 when it come to talk about Progressive Metal.

Review by Jeff Meddle

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