Mastermind Tuomas Holopainen and Troy Donockley of Nightwish joined forces with popular Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela to create the new music project Auri and the result of their shared passion for music is the cinematic self-titled debut album.
At the very first listening “The Space Between” will introduce the dreamy themes of this album as a poetic mix of understated symphonic arrangements, modern electro elements, traditional folk instrumentation and sophisticated strings melodies create an artsy sonic background for Johanna’s radiant voice.
The vibrant folk approach of “Skeleton Tree” becomes particularly powerful as multiple traditional instruments create multifaceted rhythmic patterns holding an archaic essence but also undeniably catchy beats that often lead to more melancholic atmospheric moments.
On “Desert Flower” strings hold a prominent role impeccably creating a particularly soft melodic flow constantly enriched by minimalist acoustic passages and a soulful vocal duet, consequently the whole song has a relaxing effect on the listeners feeling like a dreamy soundtrack.
Focusing greatly on Johanna’s wistful vocals “Night 13” initially relies on melancholia infused arpeggios and subtle atmospheric layers but will soon embrace a smooth rhythmic crescendo adorned by magical folk nuances.
The soothing sound of waves surrounds “Aphrodite Rising” as keyboards create intricate atmospheric arrangements bearing a luminous positive energy always amplified by elegant strings & piano melodies that naturally depict delicate soundscapes while harmonious minimalist guitars add easy rhythmic dynamics.
“Underthing Solstice” begins with graceful strings soon joined by traditional folk instrumental passages that enhance the song’s inner melodic finesse yet the main focus is Johanna’s emotive vocal delivery that effortlessly matches the gracefulness of the vibrant violin harmonies.
Tuomas has described Auris’ music style as “Rabbit Hole Music and Celestial Metal” and certainly this matches the cinematic fairytale mood of the whole album which also relies on an enchanting blend of Celtic and folk flavors that always evokes peacefully ethereal soundscapes.