BrunuhVille – Aura

By Ken Wai Lau

I stumbled upon BrunuhVille (real name Bruno) while I was digging around for a Winter themed soundtrack last December. However contrived it seems, I have this strange obsession with trying to cram a Winter themed Dungeons and Dragons adventure into a ‘personal’ campaign that I’m running, simply because it’s Winter (or Christmas).

Not that it’s easy to find a ‘wintry’ tune that was also epic, suitable for combat or general exploration in a Dungeons and Dragons adventure filled with snowy goodness. The best I managed to come up with was ‘King of the North‘ and ‘The White Forest‘ from the album Aura – which I will review here.

I actually mistook the composer of ‘King of the North’ for Adrian Von Ziegler at first, until I realised there was something ‘un-Adrian Von Ziegler-like’ about the music (reading the title and description of the songs was also helpful).

Many of the tracks in this album are orchestral tunes with an epic slant akin to movie trailer music or movie soundtracks. The feeling I get with Luna for instance, is a sudden upwelling of emotion halfway through the tune that indicates liberation, celebration, victory and other positive scenarios. ‘Magic of Love‘ starts off calm, but then becomes more uplifting halfway through.

In that sense, these tracks could represent a triumphant event or climax to a story arc in your campaign.

There are exceptions such as ‘River of Tears’, if only by virtue of it’s name and Diary sounds like a tune that you would play when you reflect upon a loss or setback.

Oddly enough, there’s also a rock/metal song included which appears out of place with the rest of the album. The track is ‘Draig Llofrudd‘, which is Welsh for ‘Dragon Killer’. Luna also uses drums and guitars as an accompaniment to the main tune.

There are several bonus tracks included in the album which are all essentially the same tracks with the vocals taken out. If you find vocals distracting, then these alternate versions might be more suitable as background music for your D&D campaign.

Verdict

The music is generally well done and the results sound generally polished, well arranged and quite ‘professional’. ‘The White Forest‘ and ‘Lusitanus‘ are some of the standout tracks in this album.

The mark of a good music album is one you can connect with emotionally. If not, then it should at least be an album you would put on repeat and not one you would take out of the CD player and put away in a drawer as soon as it is finished, never to see the light of day again.

For me, Aura fails to pass this litmus test. The album sounds too generic and uninspiring, so it doesn’t really lift me or make me feel that something epic is about to go down – and this is from an album containing tracks that are categorised (by the artist) as ‘epic’ music.

Even when used as background music while I work or play, I find myself wanting to switch to something else once the album had finished.

Maybe I’m being too critical, but ever since I’ve discovered Adrian Von Zielger, he has somewhat become the benchmark I judge music by when reviewing similar genres of music.

Having said that, given that most people will be absorbed with their Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, Aura still adds a suitable Celtic/Medieval musical backdrop to your campaign without being overly distracting.

For a better alternative, please check out The Celtic Collection.

You can buy the album by clicking on any of the buttons below (CD version available on Amazon):

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Please read the affiliate disclaimer.

To hear more, click here.


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