Auramancer: “The only way to fail…” – something genuine and vital

Blaede is a Belgian singer, songwriter and musician. Along with some childhood friends, he formed the alternative rock band Auramancer in 2000, they performed a few gigs, and recorded a 4 track demo before putting the band on hold in 2005. Searching for a more aggressive, yet groovy rock style, Blaede formed the stoner rock band the1984 in 2007. Their first album, ‘Room 101’ – written, recorded and produced by Blaede at studio Sainte-Marthe in Paris, was well received by critics, allowing the band to play live shows and make an impression in music competitions all over Belgium. Creative differences led Blaede to leave the band in 2013, at which time he revived Auramancer, only this time continuing it as a solo project with the participation of professional musicians. The project’s grunge and alternative influenced album, ‘Golconda’, was released on October 1st, 2014.  On January 18th 2018, Blaede’s Auramancer, releases a brand new EP titled “The only way to fail…”

At this point into its existence, it can be fairly expected that rock is not going to give birth to a new paradigm anytime soon. The advent of digital sampling technology and turntable manipulation, both of which slunk in through the back door of white hip-hop fandom, have not reworked the fundamental rock structure in any significant manner; rather they have become mere affectations – a new collar on an old dog, so to speak.

This is not to say that rock is a dead format, by any means. Though it often seems to move forward on fumes and inertia, it periodically shakes itself awake and offers something genuine and vital, a small jewel extruded from a largely undifferentiated mass of slag. Such a small jewel is the latest EP from Auramancer.

On opening the first track on “The only way to fail…” – the mid-tempo alternative groove of “7Seconds – the immediate impact of Blaede’s voice cannot be discounted. A melodic, often resonant roar, Blaede’s voice can raise goosebumps on the skin.

Though he never resorts to the screeching or barking of so many other rock singers. This however is not the only element where Auramancer have the clear advantage over almost every underground band tampering with this genre right now: the music is another feather in the project’s cap.

Though Blaede is clearly working in an area trod by many earlier groups, from Queens Of The Stone Age to The Smashing Pumpkins, the essential overdriven guitar foundation of his music is bolstered by creative basslines and overall arrangements which create a wholly new kind of alternative rock.

He also does right by choosing economy over pretension and bloat. Hence the music is warm and lusciously layered, without being a burden on the ear. Auramancer are not engaging in any kind of genre-twisting or paradigm alteration. Blaede simply has good ideas, and puts them across in a simple and direct manner.

Tune into “Torn Speakers” to hear this craft at work. A rich arrangement with sludgy guitars, a rolling bassline, clear vocals and layered harmonies, never at any time taxes your ears with unnecessary noise. On “Tree Of Love” you get some excellent, pure sounding guitars, brilliant chord progressions and a another set of gorgeous vocals. “Alike” is one of Auramancer’s tracks that shows off the band’s ability to modify timbre and tone, taking the song in many new directions, almost alluding to progressive rock flavors.

“Lucky Star” introduces an acoustic driven theme, before switching back and forth through hard driving rhythms. This is probably the most dynamic and dramatic tune on the recording, showing off all the project’s creative and performance wares.

It’s non-stop musical greatness right from the beginning and never lets up. Alternative Rock fans will love “The only way to fail…” – it’s as deep as the ocean, with breath-taking melodies, rhythms and vocals, and there are some amazing songs that you will find yourself hooked to after only a couple of spins!


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