Album Review – Scarlet Aura / Genesis of Time (2021)

One of the best Romanian bands of all time returns like a Phoenix with the breathtaking last part of “The Book of Scarlet” trilogy, offering us all more of their flawless fusion of Heavy and Power Metal.

4.0rating

scarlet-aura-genesis-of-time-2021Chaos on Earth, uncertainty in life, plagues, disasters and once again the feeling that there is no one there to save the world. But from a distance there is always someone or something that watches humankind. Scarlet, partly Devil, partly Angel and most important, partly Phoenix, is there together with its sidekicks to set rights and wrongs. That’s what you’ll get in Genesis of Time, the third and last part of “The Book of Scarlet” trilogy by Romanian Heavy/Power Metal outfit Scarlet Aura, following up on their critically acclaimed albums Hot’n’Heavy, released in 2018, and Stormbreaker, from 2020. Mixed, mastered and produced by the band’s own guitarist Mihai “Myke D” Dănciulescu at Silver City Studio, and displaying a stylish artwork by renowned Brazilian artist Gustavo Sazes, Genesis of Time does not shy away from taking risks and introducing unexpected turns, new musical atmospheres and landscapes, bringing the perfect and balanced ending to the trilogy with its over one hour of undisputed music carefully brought forth by frontwoman Aura Dănciulescu, guitarist Mihai “Myke D” Danciulescu, bassist Rene Nistor and drummer Matthias Klaus.

The futuristic and epic instrumental The Book of Scarlet will instantly transport you to the magical world of Scarlet Aura, with Mihai taking the lead with his stylish and sharp riffs and solos accompanied by Rene and Matthias with their heavy kitchen, flowing into the Power Metal extravaganza titled Raw Power, a song that will put you to bang your head nonstop to the classic beast by Matthias while Aura mesmerizes us all with her soaring, metallic and absolutely melodic vocals until the very last second. Then a a cinematic intro morphs into more of their classic fusion of Heavy and Power Metal in Dark Lightning, where Mihai once again steals the spotlight with his razor-edged riffs and striking solos while Rene doesn’t stop smashing his bass; and Aura and the boys masterfully bring forward the Stratovarius-inspired tune Utopia, another powerful composition that lives up to the legacy of Melodic Metal without showing a single second of boredom. Quite the contrary, it’s utterly electrifying from start to finish, and there’s no time to breathe as the quartet keeps delivering fast and melodic metal music for our vulgar delectation in Frostbite, with Matthias taking the lead with his kick-ass drums, whereas in The Black Roses the band slows things down a bit but keeping the heaviness of their core essence intact, with Aura declaiming the song’s lyrics with tons of passion and energy.

And the rumbling bass by Rene ignites their metal machine once again in Right Place, Wrong Time, also showcasing interesting background keys, and all of course spiced up by another sharp vocal performance by Aura, while in Human Obsolete they get back to a more metallic and thunderous sonority, with Mihai and Rene being in total sync with their respective riffage and bass jabs. It’s time for another Scandinavian Melodic Metal-like feast entitled In The Line of Fire, where Aura’s vocals are beyond impactful, supported by the old school sound crafted by her bandmates, whereas adding hints of the Doom Metal played by renowned acts like Candlemass and Black Sabbath to their trademark Power Metal they offer us all the heavy and sinister tune Saints Need Sinners, with over six minutes of groovy bass jabs, slashing guitars, pounding drums and dark vocals. Are you ready to fly high in the sky together with Aura and her henchmen? That’s exactly what Scarlet Aura deliver in the epic Wings of Light, a straight-to-the-point, in-your-face Power Metal tune showcasing all of the band’s heavy artillery, followed by the title-track Genesis Of Time, the most epic of all songs bringing forward nine minutes of sheer power and electricity, or in other words, a dense and imposing aria by the band that will please all fans of classic Power Metal, also presenting elements from Progressive Metal to give it an extra kick. Needless to say, the trilogy couldn’t have ended in a more climatic manner.

scarlet-aura-2021All good things must come to an end, which is the case with Scarlet Aura’s “The Book of Scarlet” trilogy with the release of the excellent Genesis of Time, and it’s impressive how the band managed to bring into being an even better opus than Stormbreaker, displaying a more mature, melodic and intricate sound that will undoubtedly be appreciated by metalheads from all over the world. Hence, if you want to know more about one of the best bands (if not the best) in the history of Romanian metal, you can follow the band on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their distinguished music and videos, stream all of their awesome creations on Spotify, and of course show your true support to the band by purchasing Genesis of Time from their own webstore or from other retailers such as Apple Music and Amazon sooner than you can say “scarlet”. Now that the trilogy is finally concluded, let’s see what Scarlet Aura will have for us fans with their upcoming releases. And despite the fact I doubt they can unleash upon us something better than Genesis of Time, I must also say that no one should ever doubt Aura and the boys, as just like a metallic Phoenix they keep coming back from the underworld spreading their fiery music to all four corners of the earth with each of their first-class albums.

Best moments of the album: Dark Lightning, Utopia, In The Line of Fire and Wings of Light.

Worst moments of the album: The Black Roses.

Released in 2021 Universal Music Romania/Silver City Records

Track listing  
1. The Book of Scarlet 6:31
2. Raw Power 4:49
3. Dark Lightning 5:14
4. Utopia 5:02
5. Frostbite 5:46
6. The Black Roses 6:13
7. Right Place, Wrong Time 5:46
8. Human Obsolete 5:28
9. In The Line of Fire 5:46
10. Saints Need Sinners 6:20
11. Wings of Light 4:27
12. Genesis Of Time 9:06

Band members
Aura Dănciulescu – lead vocals
Mihai “Myke D” Dănciulescu – guitars, vocals
Rene Nistor – bass, vocals
Matthias Klaus – drums

Album Review – Henriette B / Tales Of Reality EP (2016)

This flourishing band from Switzerland is back with more of their top-of-the-line Metalcore to tell you some of their harshest tales of reality.

Rating4

FolderIn case you’ve been following The Headbanging Moose for a considerable period of time, you might remember our review for the 2014 EP Red Dawn Of Humanity, by Swiss Metalcore/Hardcore act Henriette B (and if you’re new to the band you’ll find out why they have such a distinct band name by reading that review HERE). Now, almost two years after Red Dawn Of Humanity became a reality in the world of Metalcore, this five-piece band from Tavannes, Switzerland returns with yet another solid and impactful EP, this time entitled Tales Of Reality.

After playing many shows across Switzerland in 2015 thanks to the very positive reaction of Metalcore fans to Red Dawn Of Humanity, with Henriette B sharing the stage with bands such as Texas In July, Walking With Strangers and Benighted, it’s noticeable how the quality of the music delivered by the band improved in Tales Of Reality. Albeit always keeping loyal to their foundations and style, there are many new elements and nuances added to the new EP that end up differentiating it from its predecessor, and that in my opinion will definitely open even more doors for Henriette B to cross the boundaries of their homeland and go further in their promising career.

Although the opening track Utopia has a very similar sonority to the music found in their 2014 EP, it’s a lot more polished and professional, showcasing the evolution in the music by Henriette B. In addition, while Ian Girod is back with his bestial growls, newcomer Fabio Duro proves through his refined technique why he was selected by the band to be responsible for their beats, adding an extra layer of intricacy to their music. And in Face Or Flee, Ian and his desperate vocals follow the lead of guitarists Vincent Simonin and Thierry Grundbacher, who bring the musicality closer to Death Metal, but who also at the same time present hints of Alternative Metal through their riffs and solos.

HB-HIRES_3As mentioned in the review for their previous EP, there’s always a lot of melody amidst all the brutality blasted by the band, which is also the case in The Other Side, a typical song to break your fuckin’ neck by headbanging like a maniac anytime you listen to it, not to mention its deranged ending. And following that bestial tune we have Visions, where Fabio continues to pound his drums with a lot of precision and feeling. It’s high-quality Metalcore with a strong atmosphere supporting the band’s “noise”, once again exhibiting a good fusion of heavy riffs and harmonious solos and passages.

Now it’s time for bassist Fabien Voumard to fire his thunderous and groovy bass lines in the awesome The Mistake We Made, providing the other band members everything they need to sound even more violent. Besides, this song makes it clear that it’s when Henriette B accelerate their music that they truly thrive. And The Hidden Kingdom closes the EP by offering us more of the excellent riffs by Vincent and Thierry in a violent Melodic Death Metal vibe, not to mention the great performances by Ian and Fabio with their sonic weapons.

Henriette B want to keep telling you their own tales of reality and showing you their vision of the world, and in order to do that they need you to visit their Facebook page, YouTube channel and SoundCloud. And, obivously, if you’re a fan of European Metalcore you should also go purchase their brand new EP at their BandCamp page, at CD Baby, on Amazon and other locations. Thus, after two strong EP’s, I guess the next step for those Swiss metallers is to continue their hot streak by delivering us their first full-length album, how about that? If they keep their music as potent as it is now when that time comes, I’m pretty sure they will engrave their name deeply in the world of Metalcore and heavy music in general.

Best moments of the album: The Other Side and The Mistake We Made.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Independent

Track listing
1. Utopia 3:25
2. Face Or Flee 3:10
3. The Other Side 3:56
4. Visions 3:02
5. The Mistake We Made 3:55
6. The Hidden Kingdom 3:02

Band members
Ian Girod – vocals
Vincent Simonin – guitar
Thierry Grundbacher – guitar
Fabien Voumard – bass
Fabio Duro – drums