Aldrig Yagmur

ALDRIG - Yağmur


Sometimes one hears a debut album, scratches ones head and thinks he has hears or seen that before. As if witnessing the proverbial déjà vu. Maybe there is no debut record this year for which this idea might be more appropriate than for Aldrig’s first full-length Yağmur.

A few weeks ago we premiered ”Amarone” and we were very happy with the reception that many people recognized the quality of the track! However, we also wanted to highlight the whole album which is the reason for this review. We also pointed out that the record indeed is a kind of comeback for two band members, who already were part of very well-known band: Soul Grip. The sound of the now disbanded Belgian Atmospheric Black Metal-hopefuls resembles the Aldrig-soundscapes quite a lot, even though the sound of the latter might a bit more intricate.

There is a multitude of moments that are pretty epic and the guys do not hold back with those and dispense the first occurrence of goosebumps comes up pretty quick when they open the record with a highly effective combination of atmospheric chants and whispered vocals. The magic is that the chants are sometimes echoing each other a bit and create a kind of synth-effect. There is so much yearning, so much longing in these chants that one hardly notices when they turn into the basis of this track and the next, which is itself opened by blood-shaking screams.

But quickly it becomes clear that these screams are not typical Black Metal screams but more based in a near-Indie-Rock like, somewhat Post-Punk’ish environment. When the second layer is added, these are now real Black Metal vocals, it is apparent, that Aldrig like to play with multiple vocal layers, with the contrast between despaired clean vocals and angry growls. That is also something that will characterize the other track on Yağmur.

The record plays with many variants of Black Metal but all come back to atmospheres as their main idea. For example, third track ”Yağmur Gelecek” (there are two tracks starting with the record title, so one cannot say which one is the title track) which plays even more with those wonderful clean vocals floating over soundscapes closer to the Deftones or Hum than to Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room. Of course, that track turns to Black Metal again sooner than later, but nevertheless these little snippets show the quality of Aldrig. The contrasts make their songs so interesting – the contrast between semi-acoustic and well-placed ear-charming parts like the middle of ”Yağmur Gelecek” which is so well-executed that the sudden outbreak of harsh riffs is close to a jump-scare moment! The blastbeats afterwards are less harsh but this one single moment, when the clean guitar is ebbing away and the harsh riff kicks in, that is the sign of a band that knows their skills and their songwriting tricks!

The story behind the record might be seen as a full-circle moment here: The songs are telling the fictitious story of a guy who wakes up in the same setting over and over again – where some might see that as the essence of our Sisyphus-like existence we could also take it as the Groundhog Day-motif and witness a guy despairing at the idea of having to get through the same moment over and over again. Is this déjà vu all over again? Well, if we get as much awesome music from Aldrig as we got from Soul Grip, I am more than willing to write review after review. Over and over again!