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Experimental/Post Metal • United States

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Vaura biography
Formed in Brooklyn, NYC, USA in 2009

VAURA are a New York-based quartet consisting of guitarist KEVIN HUFNAGEL (GORGUTS, DYSRHYTHMIA), bassist TOBY DRIVER (KAYO DOT, MAUDLIN OF THE WELL), guitarist/vocalist JOSHUA STRAWN and drummer CHARLIE SCHMID (both of RELIGIOUS TO DAMN). The group is currently signed to Wierd Records and released their debut full-length, Selenelion in February of 2012.

For a group whose members boast impressive and highly eclectic musical resumes, running the gamut of everything from avant-garde and technical death metal projects to ambient and Middle Eastern folk groups, VAURA manage to sound very little like any of these related projects and create a very unique, dark sound for themselves. While the band incorporates elements of art rock, post rock, and occasional black/death metal moments, VAURA more often channel the dark, seedy vibes of post-punk groups like SWANS and KILLING JOKE or the gothic, effects-laden eeriness of THE CURE or BAUHAUS. Present in their work is also a strong, almost dream-like atmosphere that could even be comparable to post-rock groups like EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, as well as dark, industrial flourishes, acoustic passages, and healthy doses of psychedelia.

With a very unique and distinctive sound and a strong debut under their belts, VAURA have already shown a tremendous amount of promise and are a must-listen for any fan of dark, experimental, and truly progressive music.

Bio by NecronCommander

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VAURA discography

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VAURA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 37 ratings
3.67 | 9 ratings
The Missing
3.67 | 3 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Vista of Deviant Anatomies

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VAURA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Selenelion by VAURA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 37 ratings

Vaura Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is an intriguing and surprisingly easy album to access and like. Over and over I find myself being reminded of 2011's excellent album by FEN, Epoch, but also a great deal of Selenelion sounds like I'm hearing the reincarnation of one of rock's all-time greatest bands, THE CLASH. Though Mellotron Storm calls this a Metal album, I am in no way having to brace my ears (and soul) as I have had to for metal bands (even for early maudlin of the Well albums). The engaging melodies and copious and numerous special effects take all of the rough edges off of this music. The opening song, "Souvenirs" begins like something off of an early U2 album. Heck, the mostly acoustic title track hails back to some of the psychedelic folk stuff from the 60s and 70s! (remember early Moody Blues and Greg Lake's contributions to ELP everybody?) Vocalist Joshua Strawn's very laid-back, pleasant voice is so heavily reverbed that I feel like I'm listening to THE CLIENTELE! (though Strawn's vocals are much further back in the mix.) There isn't a song on the album that I don't like. I definitely think this Experimental/Post Metal album should have the added "Psychedelic" label somewhere.

Favorite tracks: "Souvenirs" (4:43) (9/10); "En/Soph" (5:11) (9/10); "Relics" (4:49) (10/10); "The Column's Vein" (2:29) (8/10); "Vanth" (5:53) (10/10); "Selenelion" (7:03) (10/10), and; "The Zahir" (7:42) (10/10).

A 4.5 star album that I'm going to rate up because of consistency of quality and freshness, variety, and the fact that album keeps sounding and feeling better and better with each listen. Try it! If you like Fen, The Clash, Toby Driver, and "gentle metal," you'll probably like this one.

 Selenelion by VAURA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 37 ratings

Vaura Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Anytime Toby Driver is associated with a project i'm interested. He's surrounded himself with like-minded musicians from other bands and they've created something that is truly adventerous and experimental. Certainly fans of Toby's earlier projects should check this out. Most of the tracks are around the five minute mark except for the last two which are over seven minutes in length.

"Souvenirs" is a song I have loved from the fiirst time I heard it. It's heavy with vocals and I can just imagine how good this would be to hear live in concert. "Drachma" is heavy on the bass and drums as the atmospheric guitars play over top along with the vocals. We get a calm 2 1/2 minutes in that is quite haunting before it kicks back in. Great track ! "The Emanation" eventually becomes the heaviest song so far and the vocals are passionate and distant sounding. Metal is flying everywhere. "En / Soph" opens with atmosphere and is slow paced until the drums arrive and it starts to pickup some. Vocals around a minute. I really like this as it has this melancholic and gothic flavour to it. Check out the instrumental section 3 minutes in as the guitar and heaviness comes to the fore. Love the guitar playing over top too. Vocals are back before 4 minutes. "Relics" is experimental and dark to start as faint vocals join in around a minute. This continues throughout. "Obsidian Damascene Sun" is intense with pounding drums and tortured guitar as the vocals join in. It becomes more aggressive after 3 minutes after the vocals have stopped, but they don't stop for long as the previous soundscape returns.

"Uncreated Light (Transfiguration)" is one of the more experimental tunes including the vocals. Some cool sounding guitar around 3 minutes then the vocals return. "The Column's Vein" is by far the shortest at 2 1/2 minutes. Sounds pulse and the wind blows in this dark and creepy soundscape. Tortured vocals shout out things. "Vanth" is an unsettling track with vocals. "Selenelion" opens with intricate guitar as relaxed vocals join in. For once they don't sound like they are off in the distance. In fact this track sounds too normal. A change 2 minutes in as the guitar and sound picks up some. "The Zahir" like the title track opens with guitar but it's strummed this time as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in heavily after 2 minutes with distortion. The guitar plays over top after 2 1/2 minutes then the vocals return but they're more passionate. Excellent sound here, in fact along with the opening track this is my co-favourite. It turns almost doom-like 5 minutes in then the guitar takes off as the tempo picks up. So good !

While this is very different from ENSLAVED's "RIITIIR" I have to say these are the two best Metal albums i've heard from 2012.

 Selenelion by VAURA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 37 ratings

Vaura Experimental/Post Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars When it comes to films, there are few directors that manage to consistently impress me like Stanley Kubrick. The man has simply released countless masterpieces throughout his long and illustrious career, including immortal classics like A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, to name but a few. Part of what makes his films so great, in addition to numerous other factors, is his remarkable ability to create unsettling and powerful atmospheres in virtually any setting. When I heard that the debut album from New York-based metal act Vaura attempted to create the atmosphere of Kubrick's films in an avant-metal setting, you could say that I was intrigued. The fact that the project also consisted of some fairly seasoned musicians, including Toby Driver (of Kayo Dot and Maudlin of the Well fame), led to some high expectations on my part. After giving Selenelion quite a bit of attention lately, I can safely say that the band has lived up to all of them.

Selenelion is, at its core, a post-metal album with some leanings into avant-garde and progressive rock territory, but tying Vaura down to a simple label can be quite tough. Melancholic ambiance reminiscent of post rock is a frequently explored style, creating strong dynamics in contrast with the sludgy riffs, powerful vocals, and raw atmospheres. Like most of Kubrick's films, this album may take a few spins to 'click' for most listeners, as the complex compositions and dense arrangements will take a little time to get used to. On the surface, Selenelion is a dark, heavy, and rather quirky album, but over repeated listens, beautiful melodies really begin to set in and leave a major impression on the listener. That's the sign of a great album in my opinion, and it's exactly this depth that makes Vaura such a worthwhile act.

In short, listeners in search of a forward-thinking and unique modern metal album owe it to themselves to check out Selenelion. Vaura's unique concoction of post rock, sludge metal, avant-garde, progressive rock, doom metal, and black metal sets them apart from most other acts on the scene, and their tasteful sense of composition makes them well-worth listening to. Hopefully we get to see more from this promising quartet in the near future!

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

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