Comprised by members of great acts such as Kayo Dot, Dysrhythmia, Gorguts and While Heaven Wept, Vaura find themselves in a strange territory. Somewhere between post-punk, darkwave and black metal, they unleash their second full-length, entitled The Missing. And just about a year after their debut album, Selenelion.
The title track is introducing the band in the most suitable manner. Firstly because Vaura unveil the whole spectrum of their sonic identity in “The Missing,” managing to combine the harsh drums and sorrowful riffs in an intriguing manner, confusing you with a healthy dose of aggression mixed with bleakness. When “Incomplete Burning” comes in you are hooked to the band’s music. The attention to detail that has been put to the guitar work is astonishing, with the melodies making an appearance in every twist and turn of the album, spreading despair to the listeners.
The black metal infused sorrow of the band makes another appearance in “The Fire” after the minimalistic intro is concluded. The contrast that the furious drumming creates to the more downtrodden theme of the track is a highlight on its own. The sudden change of the track to a more dreamlike outlook gives you some time to breathe before the devastation resumes. A complete turn to their post-punk side follows with “Mare of the Snake,” as the heavy bass and steady beat of the drums set the vibe and the unearthly choirs in the background slowly drag you towards oblivion.
But soon enough the band picks up the pace. In “Pleasure Bird” the tempo is raised… for a while. Soon enough Vaura resume their characteristic sound and you are left wondering how shitty this world truly is, while the disturbing effects on the vocals are definitely not making the process any less stressful. And when the chorus comes in you find yourself just drifting away in the unknown territories that Vaura is exploring. A feeling that becomes even more prominent with “Passage to Vice.” As the track unfolds its hypnotizing effects take over. This is a weird one, and even though you feel like the track is constantly in motion, as if the track is not really settling anywhere. And so the ethereal ambiance of “Passage to Vice” washes over to “Things That We All Hide” which infects you with its intoxicating nature. The guitar is dripping otherworldly melodies across the structure of the track and the repetitive manner with which the track progresses is capturing your attention instantly. And to be fair the ending of the track is a highlight on its own.
“Abeyance” comes in with a completely different plan. The band is showing the influence that noise has on their music. The repetitive themes on the foundations of the song and the distorted vocals on the background unveil a different face of Vaura. It works with Vaura’s sound but it would be something that I would prefer to listen outside of this full-length. The ethereal vibe is still there, as are the dreamlike melodies but the outlook of the band seems to have shifted on this track.
“Braced for Collapse” is one of the highlights of this album, with the band’s trademark melodies filling out the space and the bass and drums laying down the basis for the track. Vaura are building the track patiently and without rushing and that is why the peak is so devastating when it is reached. The towering sound that the band achieves as they continue to unleash their ethereal melodies and their overall retro personification is insanely brilliant. “Putting Flesh to Bone,” with its seven and a half minutes, puts an end to The Missing, with Vaura returning to their ethereal melodies for that one, taking a more minimalistic outlook once again with a few outbreaks whenever necessary. The vibe becomes gradually more and more exciting as time passes and at about five minutes in you are left at the mercy of Vaura as their intentions are made clear.
The Missing is a very interesting album, filled with heavy tracks, ethereal melodies, melancholy and anguish. If that is what you are looking (why would it not be?), then there is no way Vaura’s work will leave disappointed.
8.5 / 10
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