Genre: Folk
Country: Finland
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year: 2021

Auri is a side project guided by ethereal “voices of the northern lights”, as I envision it, whose master could not be anyone else rather than Nightwish’s Tuomas Holopainen. Accompanied by his muse and woman of his life, Johanna, Auri’s music is magic by all means.

Their sophomore album “Those We Don’t Speak of” comes 3,5 years after their debut which sounded interesting, but was far from fascinating. As it seems, Tuomas had to get over his “chores” with Nightwish, so that he can pull of once again some great music in which he would pour his heart and soul in. Actually, this record after hearing it for two times in a row, sounds a lot more like what Tuomas had in mind when he was sitting around this reknown campire at mid-July of 1996, when the idea of Nightwish came to his band. Even Nightwish took another direction led by other factors, factors “we don’t speak of”, Auri sounds like Tuomas’ safe space in the music industry. Catchy choruses, ethereal melodies, beauty and serenity are the words that describe this album best. My most favorte tune has to be the “Valley”, which sounds like a Dark Passion Play demo, if you ask me. Troy’s contribution is greatly appreciated as well – God bless Troy in general, he breathed new life in Tuomas’ creativity. Compared to Auri’s debut, “Those We Don’t Speak Of” is much more sincere, complex and less abstract. The tunes are more “in place”, and there is not a single moment that someone can refer to it as dull.

It would be a really good summer soundtrack for summer trips on nature,, or even calm nights in the yard under the autumn breeze. While reviewing and evaluating Auri’s debut three years ago, I tried staying away from comparisons with Nightwish, however, this time seems more than impossible.