After „Hot ‘n’ Heavy“ (2019) and „Stormbreaker“ (2020), the Romanian heavy metal band Scarlet Aura has just presented the third part of their „The Book of Scarlet“ trilogy. The band, which was founded in 2014 in Bucharest by Aura Danciulescu (vocals) and Mihai „Myke D“ Danciulescu (guitars), has made a name for itself with numerous concerts (including opening act for Accept and Tarja Turunen), as well as festival appearances, and is one of Romania’s most successful acts in their genre.
The new album, their sixth overall, bears the promising name „Genesis of Time“ and conceptually follows on from its two predecessors. The gripping cover artwork of the 12-track-album increases tension and expectations, at least, that’s how I felt. But, of course, the musical content is more important, and that’s what I took a closer look at. In terms of style, I would rather assign „Genesis of Time“ to the melodic rock/metal area with references to classic types of 80’s metal. Nevertheless, the album sounds fresh and offers a solidly produced sound experience.
Thematically, „Genesis of Time“ brings the ending to „The Book of Scarlet“ trilogy, which consists of three musical albums and three fantasy book volumes. The books are written by Aura Danciulescu and combine the lyrics of the songs from the albums with the story of a character named Scarlet, who takes the audience to the extraordinary world of Scarlet Aura.
With the purely instrumental „The Book of Scarlet“, the album opens in an exciting way. The melodic guitar lines of this bombastic six-and-a-half-minutes piece of art are neatly arranged, and the changes of pace do not miss their effect. That is quite a high level and gives hope that the album will be continued in this style, I thought to myself. And yes, even a higher standard is reached by the previously released single „Utopia“. With a driving rhythm, excellent guitar work (including some awesome, fast solos) and, of course, Aura’s outstanding voice, I see the peak of the album right here. It’s a five-minute uptempo performance with a catchy chorus that I immediately fell in love with. Just because of this song, it’s worth checking out the album, I dare to claim.
Another tip is „Raw Power“. The song sounds kind of raw and square, but that’s exactly what I like very much. Aura convinces with her scratchy voice and also brings out some screams. With the six-minutes hymn „The Black Roses“, Scarlet Aura pays special tribute to the ones who supported the band from its beginning; among others, a motorcycle club. Some guitar lines are comparable to the legendary Iron Maiden. And, while she may not be able to hear it anymore, Aura sounds a lot like Bonnie Tyler, but that’s more of a compliment than a form of criticism. „In the Line of Fire“ is another powerful song that includes a message “to not lose hope and keep fighting one’s own battles“. Aura’s defiant singing underlines this statement.
The gloomy „Dark Lightning“, which reminds me a little of Black Sabbath, is recommended as well as the hymn „Frostbite“, and the fast-paced „Wings of Light“, where Aura can shine once more with her unique voice and screams before the album ends with the midtempo title track. The musical quality is maintained with the characteristic guitars and carefully built-in keyboard sounds. I wouldn’t count the song among the highlights of the album, but in spite of its nine-minutes overlength, it never gets boring. Overall, a successful end to a highly notable album.
With a total playing time of 70 minutes and only two songs that are less than 5 minutes long, the listener has to invest a little more time, but then he can really enjoy an almost epic musical work that really impressed me. Decent song material, a suitable, rich production and, of course, the strong powerful voice of lead singer and writer Aura Danciulescu make „Genesis of Time“ one of the best albums I’ve heard in 2021. Some discreet keyboard uses, precise drumming, awesome riffs and power chords round off the positive overall impression. No, there’s nothing I could complain about. Just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing „The Witch of the North“ by the Burning Witches and was thrilled. Now I must admit that I see „Genesis of Time“ qualitatively on the same level, and that is most honorable for a band that still waits for the big breakthrough. At least, I am confident that this album is a milestone on their way to the top.
Release date: September 10, 2021
Label: Universal Music Romania / Silver City Records
1. The Book of Scarlet
2. Raw Power
3. Dark Lightning
6. The Black Roses
7. Right Place, Wrong Time
8. Human Obsolete
9. In The Line of Fire
10. Saints Need Sinners
11. Wings of Light
12. Genesis Of Time