“Black crosses in the sun” is the debut rock/hard-rock album of AURORA BY NOON coming in an LP length and 12 non-explicit tracks.
The brainchild of Markus Sumereder, AURORA BY NOON is a strong concept with international musicians including Adam Hayman on guitars, Alexandre Emidio on drums, Björn Mehler as lead singer, Mark Brown on keys, synths and Markus Sumereder on bass – his mature songwriting skills and producer ideas really elevate “Black crosses in the sun” to an equally entertaining, reinvigorating musical experience and an ode to the evolution of rock music.
Let’s dive into the tracks one by one:
Track 1: “Dirty Rules, Dirty Game”
This big bang album starter catapults the album into the mainstream contemporary rock pedestal. The raw energy shaped into driven verses and melodic, catchy chorus with rightly attuned guitars. There is no holding back on the drums and the mix deserves an extra praise as well to have the song fitting into the speakers. This arena anthem is a perfect choice as a soundtrack and a rightful occupant of any rock playlists. AURORA BY NOON’s very own signature sound is a vivid mood boost for capable ears and rock enthusiastics and provides an atmospheric, strong song to love and dive into the album with.
Track 2: “Black crosses in the sun”
The album namesake, melodic rock song with great riffs and tempo shifts between the emotional verses and the wide and wild chorus is doubling down on the musicianship of the band. A clear sound in the mix lifts it above the generic radio sounds; the driven performances, especially in the final chorus that serves as an extended outro, makes this a stadium rock song. The harmony variations ease the ears and mind and the tasty guitar sound just brings back why rock has been loved by so many.
Track 3: “Reasons”
With this more hard rock sound, AURORA BY NOON dives deep into the genre, giving the trait for the genre fanatics. Being somewhat resembling to earlier Foo Fighters, there is a definite audience for this storytelling for sure. Classic rhythm section-guitar conversation makes it more relatable.
Track 4: “Go With The Flow”
Once again another rock-subgenre, this power-rock piece with great, singalong chorus, flavoured with Red Hot Chilli Pepper-esque funky in the break and slightly reminding to ‘00s Placebo, is a perfect song in the car and of course in live concerts. Loud and banging, yet not too much and the right pacing make sure it’s a nice addition to the album.
Track 5: “A Thousand Words, A Thousand Thorns”
This song brings back the authentic AURORA BY NOON sound and with a high-tempo, tense, energetic, driven band like them, this track is a stratospheric rock gem to dance and jump on and shout the lyrics all along. A great bassline, the always immaculate guitars and on point drums recall the very best of the late ‘80s and the smash of the ‘90s. Pearl Jam would be happy to have this song in their catalogue; an instant concert favourite.
Track 6: “No More Crying”
A classic rock theme built around guitars, accompanied by heavy drums and great singing. The bit more various chord progressions give a good break for the ears. A traditional closing of the A-side on an LP; well placed in the album.
Track 7: “Sleepless”
It is a more laid back, traditional rock sound, a ballad with vocals – crying guitars dialogue. Nice soundscape, absolutely genuine and remarkable vocals – once again a different yet familiar vibe from the band, AURORA BY NOON. With songs like this new fans will fall in love with their music all the time. The pain captured by the lead singer makes this song especially outstanding.
Track 8: “Floating Dead Wood”
Another classic hard rock song and topic, this time with a different soundscape – more we’ve heard in the late ‘70s – and that is a nice addition. The pulled back delivery is a good change, still tense yet not overdone – something Scorpions used to do back then. The band is really together and sounds just right. By now it’s safe to say: the drummer deserves the captain’s flag.
Track 9: “Under Pressure”
The counterpart of Reasons, this song is on the one hand a traditional ARURORA BY NOW sound, on the other hand a visitation to classic rock tropes and artists mixed with contemporary rock sound. The heavy riffs and the John Bohnam-ish drumming deserve the greatest praise along with the layered vocals.
Track 10: “When Dinosaurs Will Die”
The vocal talent carries this hard-rock piece all along, supported by superb drums and a tight band – making it another setlist-must. The slight Iron Maiden sound (from their earlier days) gives a nice extra touch but the real key here is the energy of the performance. Not for a single second the listener would think it’s not a concert performance – and that just shows how well can the band members work together. The rhythm section does its job well and the riffs give the feel as expected, too.
Track 11: “Thief In The Mirror”
A more contemporary rock sound, some good refreshment after that much classic heaviness AURORA BY NOON brings just another rock sing-along with melodic chorus and relatable verses. The tamed guitars serve the song well; the mix understands the style and the vocals acclimatized to the modern era. The superb drums do an amazing job.
Track 12: “In The Shelter Of Mother Earth”
Probably one of the best if not the very best song in the album, this incredibly immaculate rock piece unites everything great: the talent and skills, starting from songwriting to lyrics, from mix to master, including the most sophisticated instrumental unities. There are so many things happening at once that this song itself deserves a constant repeat. Damien Nolan on rhythm guitars is also a nice addition to the unity of Adam Hayman, Alexandre Emidio, Björn Mehler, Markus Sumereder, Mark Brown. The band gives it all and even beyond balancing the strong beginning of the album. In The Shelter Of Mother Earth is a masterpiece, connecting to the audience in many levels. This is the big bang to close an album and end a stadium concert with as well and the ultimate answer why to actually buy the album; it is one of the best discoveries in latter years’ rock music.
Ultimately, “Black crosses in the sun” is a uniquely qualified debut album with a remarkable signature sound and great delivery by the very well-cast band of AURORA BY NOON. It is an always interesting rock/hard-rock sound and fortunate song choices with credible and authentic performances.
Definitely the biggest league is waiting for AURORA BY NOON. An album to love, own it even on vinyl and of course drive for it to their concert.
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