'Here we have Lunar Aurora’s 6th full length release, which is very different from their previous works. This doesn’t sound anything like the epic Ars Moriendi or the melodic and atmospheric Elixir of Sorrow. Regardless, it’s definitely Lunar Aurora, and they still haven’t disappointed.
The word “Zyklus” is German for “cycle.” The theme of this album is the parts of the day – Der Morgen, Der Tag, Der Abend and Die Nacht (Morning, Day, Evening, Night). Zyklus only has four songs but don’t be disappointed – they range from 7 minutes to 16 minutes.
Musically, Zyklus is neither catchy nor easy to listen to. Some melody can be found but you have to listen for it very well. There’s tons of repetition. What you get instead is a cold, bleak, “infinite” like atmosphere. I'm going to say cold a lot for this review, because that's the one word that really describes this album.
Ambient sounds, some synths, raw guitars, and thundering drums are what give Zyklus such a powerful atmosphere. Each track has an impressive introduction that does well to fit well with the actual theme of the track. Der Morgen, for example, starts off quietly and slow and even when the guitars and drums kick in, there’s no rush to get things moving. The first track can be considered the most peaceful on Zyklus, and as you listen to the tracks in order, they get much more intense.
I would say the best track is the final one, Die Nacht. Die Nacht has the best atmosphere. The introduction has a very sinister feel, then proceeds with cold raw guitars, then has a fairly melodic, though minimal sounding part around after 6 minutes. Towards the end the song slows down is generally light sounding for a bit, and then finally ends off going back up to speed.
I can’t really think of anything bad about Zyklus. For what it’s supposed to be about, it does a good job. I don’t think it should be any other way.
Lunar Aurora take you on a cold, desolate, almost endless journey with Zyklus, which many other bands fail to do. Like a Burzum album, Zyklus is one of those releases you need to listen to straight through to really get the most out of it and is one of those albums that get better with each listen. Listening to each track at its associated time is a good idea as well to really see most of the atmosphere involved. When I think of Zyklus, I like to imagine a journey of wandering in a massive forest at the time before dawn until it becomes pitch black out and civilization and humanity have rested temporarily until fading away into the infinity of the night before one sees dawn again.
Zyklus is a grim, cold-hearted album that is not for the weak. Those who want atmosphere, look no further! Highly recommended.'