Alor is one more one man band that I review/ interview here on this website. Hailing from beautiful Galicia/ Spain, the band’s name means, in old English, “alder”, which is a symbol of fire in Celtic culture. Here’s what matters, Alor plays neofolk using some distortion which leads us to feel like also listening to a post-black metal/ dark metal album. With many acoustic parts (the pure neofolk side of this release), we have a very beautiful and atmospheric work.
Haerfest is a hypnotic album, the kind that you need to be wandering in nature to fully enjoy it or to simply turn off your lights and lay down relaxing to this exquisite sound. If you appreciate the works of Agalloch, Ulver and even Lifelover (not all of their material is similar to Haerfest, just the more atmospheric, narrating songs), this is a must have release.
There aren’t too many vocal passages, some are whispers, some are narrating and very few black metal shrieks. The drum programming could be a little bit better; you can clear conclude that on the song “There are eyes in the dusk”, but the same song still remains excellent, so there’s nothing really to complain about.
The lyrics for Näcken by Swedish poet Erik Johan Stagnelius. The vocals for the same song were provided by Feigr. I specially like this song because the narration, as I’ve already mentioned, completely reminds me of Lifelover releases, one of my favorite bands. Great work.
When it comes to the production of Haerfest, Alor doesn’t disappoint either. It does make you think if nowadays you really need a label. The sound is clear, you can hear all the instruments very well and, all in all, much better than some productions of important labels.
As for the physical copies, here’s the info: “Two small issues were released in autumn 2013, in addition to the band releasing the album on Bandcamp: Satanica Productions in CD-R format and Depressive Illusions Records CD-R in DVD case limited to 33 copies. Re-released in digisleeve format limited to 900 copies by Northern Silence Productions on February 14, 2014.”
For a début album, this is an outstanding work. Even if we weren’t talking about a first full-length release, this is indeed one very, very worth listening and buying album. Hopefully we’ll hear more from this band and soon!
Album: Haerfest (2013/ 2014)
Label: Self-released (now: Northern Silence Productions)
1. While the Fall Paints These Woods in Red
2. When at Night the Shadows Rise
6. Wooden Whispers
7. There Are Eyes in the Dusk
Amarok – All instruments, Vocals
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alor.official
Official Bandcamp: http://alorofficial.bandcamp.com/May 1, 2014