This album is available in two different versions; the first is divided into four tracks, while the second is a single 42-minute song. Needles to say, I recommend the latter as the definitive version, but ultimately the music is the same either way.
Cathartes Aura is largely slow and atmospheric, emphasising mood-building and the gradual creation of atmosphere over more ostentatious attributes. Occasionally it does burst into blackened violence, but even the faster parts of the music are primarily about atmosphere and feeling, more than anything else. This is doom-as-experience.
Richly textured and varied, the music contains a range of different moods, paces, and styles, from upbeat blackened aggression to soft, reflective introspection. Elements of the death/doom style are clearly evident, and avant-garde, post-metal, black metal, and funeral doom influences can be heard too. Sometimes heavy, but frequently light and shaded, this is music for despondent and melancholic nights.
Cathartes Aura is music that’s aimed at generating emotive atmosphere, in creating an immersive soundscape to draw the listener in. In this, it succeeds, and I’d recommend Cathartes Aura’s debut album to anyone with an interest in long-form atmospheric music.