A band that chooses their name as the Latin word for ‘ear’ already has my vote, although it’s sometimes associated with tinnitus; whatever, here is Aurium, a symphonic rock/metal act from Serbia who are set to release their third album, The Second Sun. Fronted by the wonderfully named Dragica Maletić on vocals, along with Siniša Mladenović on keys and synths, Julius Velker on guitar, Miloš Jovanović on bass, and Alexandar Mušicki on drums (an excuse to show that I can find all of those accents and so forth on the keyboard, even if I can’t pronounce them!).
Forget tinnitus… the weighty riff of lead track, ‘Asylum’ will get rid of any wax and the crystal tones of the vocals will soothe your ears as the synths and keys add the symphony. ‘Leaden Skies’ has a cloister led Dio feel that the Kate Bush type vocals work well with and adds up to a cracking song. ‘Dead Landscapes’ has heft with sparse backing to the verses that change to operatic swell and fill the speakers with octaves rarely encountered – but it really grows.
‘Garbage Eater’ is Painkiller-Priest but with keys. The epic ‘Phasianidae’ is a neat analogy – the word is the scientific name for pheasants, turkeys and chickens, but is transferred into a far-reaching, tempo changing heavy rock ensemble of some quality. Closing with the ubiquitous ‘Bonus Track’ we get the full operatic splendour of Dragica’s vocals with suitably heavy riffing and keys.
There may be no groundbreaking stuff here but, if you like your metal melodic, symphonic and heavy then this is well worth a listen.