Askara is a melodic dark metal band from Switzerland. They grew steadily over the last years and are now ready to release their second album. From 8th April 2022 onwards, you will be able to listen to Lights Of Night. Here is my review.
Askara – About The Artists
Askara have been founded in Basel, Switzerland in 2013. They key element is the vocal work between the two singers Miril and Elia – the latter is also the bassist of the band. Raphael is the drummer on the album and Benjamin plays the guitar. In 2016, the band debuted with the album Horizon of Hope. There will be a new drummer, Emmanuel, for the future gigs and recordings.
Askara – Lights Of Night – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 52 minutes.
1. The Birth Of A Star
How do you re-introduce yourself after you have been been absent for some six years from the record stores? Maybe naming it The Birth Of A Star? Okay, just kidding, the first track is a roughly 90 seconds intro, which starts as a too sweet piano diddy, which is more and more overturned by the guitars.
2. Nocturne Of Cold Mystery
Melodic dark metal? Elia feels to want to set a statement right at the beginning of the Lights Of Night album and growls the lyrics of this opening song – the rather angelic sound of Miril’s voice joins in after about one minute. Especially towards the end of the track, you feel the potential of this collaboration. They work that well in that section – could I have an a Capella version, please? 🙂
3. Through Fire
Nocturne Of Cold Mystery felt dark from the beginning, Through Fire is even a bit of darker. I especially love the later parts of the almost six minutes song, when the sound get significantly softer and the growling has a nice groove – is there some sort of growl-reggae? 🙂 Good one, indeed.
4. By God
By God is one of three single releases of the album so far. It is also the first song, which does not start with growling, but with piano sounds and Miril’s voice. The song begins in the style of a ballad, before it is becoming a bit more dramatic and powerful. Nice, multi-faceted sound.
5. To Ailsa Rock
(Almost) the center of the album is hiding the longest song of the album. The trip To Alisa Rock is a nine minute journey. This always comes with the challenge to keep the song interesting, present different moods, play with vocals and melodies. In both categories, the Swiss manage to tell an entertaining story in their language – which even includes some violin sounds.
6. Reprise: Harbour Lights
This reprise is introducing some sound of the water and piano sounds. Thus, the two minute break from the rocking four songs before are the perfect calming down for Hibernation.
Hibernation is the vocal showcase for Miril. Piano and violin sounds – and the voice of the clear voice vocalist of Askara of course. Beautiful sound – not metal at all.
8. Dark Night Of The Soul Pt. I
After Hibernation, which has also been one of three single releases, The Dark Night of the Soul Pt. I is also a rather soft song. Elia is back from his vocal hiatus, but his vocals are not as present as in other songs. To me, this song comes with the most beautiful chorus of the album.
9. Seven Years
After a rather slow and gentle start, Askara use the five minutes of Seven Years more and more to release their rocking soul and free their guitars. A touch of Nightwish. Seven years of darkness, seven years of pain – but five minutes of really good rock music.
Viator connects to the powerful songs at the beginning of the album. A very nice song, in which the two vocal protagonists sometimes feel to have a vocal battle, before they get back to harmony again.
11. The King’s Song
The very last song of the album is opening with powerful guitar riffs and heavy growling. Miril does have her vocal party, but The King’s Song feels a bit like the showcase for her vocal antagonist. A bit of “back to the roots” feeling. Good one.
Askara – Lights Of Night – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Askara – Lights Of Night – My View
Comparably long album, rather short review: I really like it. Here and there, I feel it s a bit of unfortunate for the instrumentalists that the contrasting vocalists suck in so much presence of the really nicely written songs – but that’s really all on the negative side. The album will not be in the “Best Albums of the Year” lists, but it is a fun and entertaining listen.
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