Vaura: The Missing
(Profound Lore, 11/12/13)
The new album from experimental Brooklyn, NY, metal band Vaura — consisting of members of Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, and Kayo Dot — is a spattering blast of rain against blotchy windows. Songs that initially seem to strip off layers of surface grime eventually reveal only roiling, blackened skies of a rapidly darkening world.
The four-minute title track begins with a black-metal airiness reminiscent of Wolves in the Throne Room before diving into mid-tempo gothic haziness and then finishing with a 20-second assault of blast-beat shoegaze, amid Joshua Strawn’s buried — but very melodic — darkwave delivery.
A few songs on The Missing are marked by almost subconscious black-metal-style backing vocals, making things distant and creepy. “Mare of the Snake” and “Passage to Vice” juxtapose light and dark. The former features effects-heightened gothic wailing that slices into a melodic chorus, while in the latter a barely perceptible evil growl backdrops bright, clean-guitar fingerpicking.
The song “Abeyance” wanders into the progressive instrumental territory inhabited by bands like Maserati; the track begins with a fog crunch of shrieking instruments and vocals, drifts to psychedelia, and finishes with synths peeling out in a long, dark corridor.
Though The Missing may not be Vaura’s most cohesive effort, fans of moody, experimental metal will find plenty to enjoy.