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THE AURORA PROJECT

Progressive Metal • Netherlands


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The Aurora Project picture
The Aurora Project biography
Founded in Katwijk, Nederlands in 1998

THE AURORA PROJECT is an atmospheric progressive/symphonic metal band.
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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THE AURORA PROJECT Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy THE AURORA PROJECT Music


World Of GreyWorld Of Grey
JFK 2016
$15.55
$19.18 (used)
Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT (2009-05-05)Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT (2009-05-05)
Laser's Edge
$29.78
$16.82 (used)
Selling The AggressionSelling The Aggression
FREIA MUSIC 2019
$19.35

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THE AURORA PROJECT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.89 | 32 ratings
Unspoken Words
2005
3.48 | 26 ratings
Shadow Border
2009
3.51 | 36 ratings
Selling The Aggression
2013
3.39 | 19 ratings
World Of Grey
2016

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

3.05 | 2 ratings
grey_world_live
2019

THE AURORA PROJECT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
{Selling It Live}
2013

THE AURORA PROJECT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
A Night To Remember
2015

THE AURORA PROJECT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE AURORA PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 grey_world_live by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Live, 2019
3.05 | 2 ratings

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grey_world_live
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars The album title pretty much gives this away, as apart from two acoustic numbers what we have here is a live rendition of their 2016 album 'World of Grey'. Formed in 1998, the Dutch band released their debut in 2005 and so far, have put out four studio albums. There is no doubt that the crowd there on the night enjoyed what they were hearing, but for me I'm not so sure. There is a melancholy within their sound, and far more space than is normal. It feels fragile, as if it is going to break at any minute, and there were times when I felt reminded of Marillion, but not in a good way. This is a band which seems to be built around the singer as opposed to being about the music, and consequently it relies on him having a real presence and authority on what is being undertaken yet it just isn't there.

There are times when it can be haunting and almost beautiful, but these sections are few and far between and the result is something which is interesting but just really isn't for me. I note this will be the first review for this album to appear on PA, yet the album has been out for months, so maybe that in itself says something. I haven't heard any of the studio albums so can't say if this is indicative of their normal sound, but I can't see myself seeking them out. It feels self-indulgent as if they were playing for themselves instead of an audience, but maybe you need to be in a certain frame of mind to appreciate this and I am obviously not.

 World Of Grey by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.39 | 19 ratings

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World Of Grey
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With their latest album "World of Grey", Aurora Project shift their sound yet again, this time to lighten the load by taking some happier influences by more symphonic prog outfits like Rocket Scientists and Spock's Beard, but all in all, its business as usual.

"Expect Us" is once again vocal driven, and the instrumental sections are once again repetitive and lack any real excitement. "Warmongers" also starts with a soft intro, again showing a shift away from Dream Theater esque stylings and veering more toward symphonic and neo prog influences, but is a few minutes too long. There is a nice jazz-blues guitar solo towards the end, but it feels lost amidst the once again stifling vocals.

The same story repeats itself throughout the album, like previous albums. "Stone Eagle" lumbers along in an unimaginative chord progression. "Deadly Embrace" has some nice instrumental sections in the middle, but are once again stifled by the bland symphonic staple chord synth and the still unimaginative and stifling vocals. "Mediapuppets" is alright, a summary of the band's sound in a digestible 4:47. "World of Grey" sounds like DT chords meet Opeth droning and drama, "Circles in the Water" adds some Pink Floyd harmonics and atmosphere with Porcupine Tree esque textures before finally emerging into a triumphant chorus at the end while "Dronewars" is just another uninspiring track filled with the same sounds as before.

That's basically all she wrote. In listening to their albums, all of them sound virtually the same, even though the influences change from each album. The same sounds and style and the same influences just make each song sound the same, and with nothing interesting popping out, the entire band's discography just seems average, which is a shame considering the musical ability of the band is immense, when they get a chance to shine, but with the singer with an unbearable, overwhelming presence on every song, you don't get any of that. Now that would be fine if the singer commanded a stage presence, or had a flair for the dramatic, but nothing about his voice interests me. In fact, after listening to the band's discography, I'd be fine if I never heard his voice again, I wouldn't be missing anything.

It's a harsh conclusion, but this goes to show what happens in a genre of ever changing development and progression. If you don't bring something new to the table every time and have some key element or factor in your sound, you'll end up swimming in the sea of mediocrity and end up getting lost amidst the tide.

I guess this is what the phrase "the more things change, the more they stay the same" means.

 Selling The Aggression by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.51 | 36 ratings

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Selling The Aggression
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I knocked Aurora Project's "Shadow Border" a bit simply for sounding like a mix-mash of contemporaries like Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Shadow Gallery, amongst others, and while the sounds have developed and improved on originality, the songs still sound the same.

"Dualistic Consciousness" has a DT vibe to it, but isn't longer than it needs to be. It's got some great chords, but the vocals are everywhere. It continues the trend of the last album where the vocals dominate everything, which is disappointing, because there are flashes of instrumental prowess on both albums, but it's just not enough to pique my interest. "Turning of the Tide" has a nice neo-prog feel to it, a la Porcupine Tree, and then amps the drama and drone by tracks end, but it's still missing something, a hook or a catch to lure me in.

The title track is another example. Singer Dennis Binnekade does his best James LaBrie impersonation, and the pomp and circumstance is there at the chorus, but it's still missing something. It's either a tad too long, or it needs a guitar solo or something, while "The Oil Supremacy" sounds way too much like diet Dream Theater.

"The Sense of Reality" is probably one of my favorites of the album. From the indie rock-like opening to the stutter-step bridge in the middle, it moves and meanders and still stays cohesive and keeps the flow going. "Speeding Up Of Time" is another forgettable DT clone and "Newtopia" is just a few minutes too long.

So really, this album suffers from the same pox as the previous one. In fact, this album sounds even more like a diet Dream Theater album, and yet there's still a serious lack of technicality or musicality. The key signatures stay the same, and the singing chokes the entire record. On top of it, after listening to the album, nothing compelled me to go back and listen to it again, and that's a big deal for me. Think about it, the reason you listen to something for the first time is because it's new. The reason you listen to something the second time is because you want to hear it again, and nothing about this album compels me enough to go back and listen to it again. There's no snappy chorus, no innovative instrumentation, no awesome solo, nothing. It's just bland, which is a real shame, because these guys could do some great things if they just branched out a bit more.

3.0

 Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.48 | 26 ratings

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Shadow Border
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Progressive metal is a hard genre to crack. Too many bands end up with the same sound and no outstanding features that they just don't sound really remarkable.

The Aurora Project hail from the Netherlands with "Shadow Border", their second full length album, and while they're experienced musicians, this album still shows youth in their sound. I'm not the biggest fan of the guitar tones and the lyrics over all are fairly bland and uninteresting. "Human Gateway" is slow enough to have a bit of Opeth-ish feel during the slower passages, while "the Trial" screams early Fates Warning to me. Right away, I just get a bunch of influences from other bands, which isn't band, but there's no "Aurora" sound, not yet anyway.

"Photonic Reunion" is the first track to feature some diverse tempo changes and and a different sound palette, not to mention as the shortest track of the album, it doesn't overstay its welcome, but the chorus has a bit of a nod to Dream Theater and "Beyond This Life". In fact, the next tune "The Confession" has a brutal heavy chord progression similar to "A Nightmare to Remember" (funny considering both tracks were released the same year).

"Another Dream" has some interesting verses, "Within the Realms" has some nice guitar solos after a nice three minute atmospheric break, and the self-titled track finally shows off even more of the musicians instrumental prowess and a series of changes in texture and sound.

Overall, the album is full of solid tracks ("Photonic Reunion", "Within The Realms", "Shadow Border"), but the album overall is just enough to just above average. The influences from other contemporaries are there, but there's just not enough to make it a standout album.

 Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.48 | 26 ratings

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Shadow Border
The Aurora Project Progressive Metal

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars Dutch The Aurora Project started in 1999, the music was based on having hours of jam sessions. The band its debut was released worldwide in 2006 by Dutch record company DVS Records and was also worldwide highly praised for its 'unique sound'. After releasing the album, they went on tour in order to promote the album. The Aurora Project was invited twice (2005 and 2008) for the prestigious Dutch Progpower Festival, played Dutch Symforce and German Deichbrand Festival, went on tour in Holland and Belgium with Riverside and Van Den Plas and were the support-act of Pain of Salvation, RPWL and Treshold. In 2007 a dream came true for the band when they played a sold-out Paradiso Amsterdam, for 1500 people. In 2008 The Aurora Project went into the studio to record their second album 'Shadow Border'. The album was released worldwide 5th May 2009 by the legendary USA progrock label The Laser's Edge, that successfully launched acts like Riverside, Zero Hour and Knight Area in the past.

On their second album Shadow Border the Dutch The Aurora Project deliver seven melodic compositions that alternate between Heavy Prog, neo-prog and symphonic rock. The music features strong guitar work (lots of howling, sensitive and harder-edged guitar solos along exciting propulsive riffs), decent English vocals and a very pleasant keyboard layering. There is also often a huge tension between the dreamy parts with twanging guitars, soaring keyboards and emotional vocals and the more bombastic, heavy and up-tempo parts with powerful guitar leads and sumptuous keyboards. My highlight is the final epic composition Shadow Border (almost 17 minutes) that showcases The Aurora Project in its full splendour. It starts with Floydian guitar work, then a catchy beat with fiery guitar and a very dynamic rhythm- section, at some moments the atmosphere is close to prog metal. Halfway a part with thunderous drums that support a flashy synthesizer solo, followed by a dreamy climate with warm vocals and twanging acoustic guitars. This turns into a prog metal atmosphere with impressive choir-Mellotron eruptions. The final part delivers a howling guitar solo, lush keyboards and strong drum beats, this is Prog Heaven!

What a very professional and wonderful sounding effort by this Dutch band, it's good to read that The Aurora Project still appeals to many progheads who like their dynamic, modern and melodic progrock.

 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.89 | 32 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.

 Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.48 | 26 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.

 Shadow Border by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.48 | 26 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.

 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.89 | 32 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.

 Unspoken Words by AURORA PROJECT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.89 | 32 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!!

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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