Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States
Addaura is a band I've loved since the very first moment I discovered them in 2010. Along with Alda, Skagos, and Fauna, Addaura were the front-runners of the burgeoning Cascadian black metal scene that began in the late 2000's. Though the other bands were certainly good, Addaura were always very much my favorite. Their WIITR inspired sound was absolutely perfect, and their demo is one my favorite black metal releases ever. Black metal has always based around nature-worship, and the Cascadian black metal scene took that concept even further. Musically, I love their repetitive ebb and flow, and the very subtle changes their music featured. It all felt so organic and in the spirit of what they were trying to achieve. Although she's now departed, their vocalist at the time Chantal was fantastic, and her hoarse rasp played a huge part in my love for them. It was a shame that she left, but it was still clear that Addaura had a bright future ahead of them.
In 2012, the group released their first full-length Burning For The Ancient ,and again I was in awe of what they were able to create. It wasn't a departure of their previous sound, but rather a refinement. Though the songs were longer, their sense of flow had improved dramatically, with each track building and building until it hit its epic climax. Once again repetition played a large role, but because the melodies were so strong and the arrangements so tight, there was never a moment where any section felt like it overstayed its welcome. Guitarist Ryan had taken over the role of vocals, and though I was initially a bit scared, upon his first wail he quickly laid those worries to rest. Not only were his shrieks as good as Chantal's but he was able to deliver monstrous gutturals, adding yet another dimension to the group's sound. Once again, Addaura proved to be step ahead of their peers.
This brings us to 2015, and after a seemingly eternal three year wait Addaura dropped their ...And The Lamps Expire EP. At first, I didn't really know what to think of it. However, the more I listened, the more I began to appreciate what they are attempting to do; finally forging their own sound. Though elements of the Cascadian style (and therefore WIITR) still remain, ...And The Lamps Expire is very much Addaura beginning to create a style of their own. To a degree they've abandoned the repetition and subtly of their previous material, but it really fucking works. Rife with more folk and experimental touches, here Addaura displays a sense of dynamics I would have never expected from them. The more furious black metal segments certainly still sound like them, but now they've expanded their sonic palette, accentuating the strength of the more aggressive moments as well as the softer ones. Overall, it's a great release and I'm certainly looking forward to whatever they do next.