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El Hijo de la Aurora : The Enigma of Evil

Strange and diverse, and at times almost impenetrable, El Hijo de la Aurora's latest album rewards further listening.

'The Enigma of Evil' sees Peru's El Hijo de la Aurora, which translates as 'Son of the Dawn', return with their fourth full length album after a lengthy sabbatical. Previous effort 'Wicca: Spells, Magic and Witchcraft Through the Ages' was released way back in 2011, but the guys have clearly refreshed their Doom palates in those intervening years. This latest record is a heroically stoned, psychedelic trip that will make your speakers virtually ooze THC.

Opening track, 'Fohat', begins with swaggering, malevolent intent as an insanely catchy riff builds to monstrous proportions before a powerful vocal from Jorge Cortes is unleashed. It's a slice of textbook Stoner Metal complete with trippy lyrics (handily the CD inlay features original Spanish lyrics as well as an English translation) referencing "elders from another place" who "helped us" driven on by a smoky, lumbering groove. As a scene-setter for the rest of the album it works perfectly, providing a satisfying fix of classic Stoner that whets the appetite for further hits on the El Hijo de la Aurora bong.

From there on, things get darker and heavier very quickly, as 'Kýrie Eléison' injects a heavy dose of venom with aggressive vocals, and a slow, thunderous classic Doom riff that builds to shattering crescendos as background chanting lends an epic grandiosity to the track's chaotic final part. The classic Doom vibe is maintained until 'The Awakening of Kosmos', a psychedelic acoustic number, with a trippy acoustic riff and melancholy vocals from Indrayudh Shome reminiscent of early Hawkwind. The only track on the album with English lyrics, this mellow interlude is the calm before a raging storm of nightmarish, psychedelic Doom.

Slow, deliciously evil Doom riffs drag the album ever onward, while discordant, mind-bending effects and accompaniment from a range of instruments, including the Tibetan Bowl, Hammond Organ and Moog, add a liberal dose of seriously heavy psych. The vocal baton is passed on as the album progresses, with Jorge Cortes, Indrayudh Shome and Ziko Franco Rockerfeller sharing duties between them. This diversity of sounds and interchanging personnel ensures there is no low point here, no filler.

Finally, 'Guard of the Two Thrones' brings the album to a sludgy, brutal conclusion laced with droning distortion, tribal drumming and an unspeakably heavy Doom riff. Stripped down and primal, it stumbles relentlessly through weed-infused treacle to bring 'The Enigma of Evil' to its heaviest point, and a powerful, gut-wrenching conclusion.

Strange and diverse, and at times almost impenetrable, this is a record that rewards further listening. Put it on repeat, study those lyrics, and just let it take you on its crazy journey. It's one worth taking over and over again.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Fohat
2. Kýrie Eléison
3. The Buddha from Mars
4. The Awakening of Kosmos
5. Spirits of Will
6. The Advent of Ahriman
7. Guard of the Two Thrones

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes

Visit the El Hijo de la Aurora bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-03-30 by Nick Harkins
Thermal Mass
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