Band: The Aurora Project

CD Title: World of Grey

Website: www.theauroraproject.com

Label: Freia Music (2016)

Rating: Great Stuff 4/5


Netherlandís based The Aurora Project are back with album number four, a concept work entitled World of Grey. The concept explores the tension created between an established world order and the people under it. This is a slightly different band this time around, given the untimely passing of guitarist Marc Vooijs. Musically keyboards take a greater role in the bandís sound as they now compose with only one guitar. This does tend to move the overall sound of the band in a more modern symphonic prog direction and away from their guitar centric heavier approach on their first three albums. Itís a sound I immediately fell in love with. It is in many ways reminiscent of bands such as IQ, Pendragon and perhaps even a bit of Pallas. Itís a sound that has a direct connection to mid-eighties Progressive Rock resurgence, but updated in many ways. Clocking in at fifty-five minutes, these eight compositions, most of which are six-minutes or longer develop in grand and dynamic fashion. The sound is big with layers of keyboard orchestration. Songs start off with typically long introductions then open up to an initial song portion that then climaxes into a change in musical direction or dramatic shift in time, tempo or tone. This then plays out as much more than an extended bridge, but becomes a significant portion of the original composition itself. Then more often than not the song will end with a different vibe all together. So while it could be said these are all song-based it is worth noting they are made up of many, many different elements. Itís a sound and approach I really like, and as I say fell in love with right off the bat. And it gets better with every listen. Great hooks, lots of instrumental virtuosity and plenty of classic sounds, what more do you need? Highly recommended.