Grey Aura is a conceptual black metal band from Utrecht, the Netherlands. The band’s members are Ruben Wijlacker, Tjebbe Broek and Sylwin Cornielje. Our aim is to create immersive music. We incorporate various art forms (literature, fine art and audio theatre) to achieve this goal.
Our debut album, ‘Waerachtighe beschryvinghe van drie seylagien, ter wereld noyt soo vreemt ghehoort’, was released by Blood Music in 2016. It is a nearly one-and-a-half-hour long album that deals with Willem Barentsz’ third and final voyage to find a north-eastern passage to Asia in 1596. Although the album is firmly rooted in mid-nineties black metal, it is an exercise in subtle experimentation; ‘Waerachtighe beschryvinghe…’ contains elements of audio theatre and neoclassical composition. The album was created with a strong sense of historical accuracy and its foreword was written by German Polar researcher Nikolas Sellheim. ‘Waerachtighe beschryvinghe…’ was added to the permanent collection of the Dutch National Library in The Hague in 2016.
Our sophomore album ‘Zwart vierkant’ is the result of six and a half years of sonic experimentation. We wrote and released two demos in order to fully develop our new sound. ‘Zwart vierkant’ takes a very experimental approach to black metal, trading the music’s signature coldness and misanthropy for a delirious southern heat. The album contains elements of flamenco music, spoken word and jazz.
‘Zwart vierkant’ is conceptually based on Ruben Wijlacker’s debut novel ‘De protodood in zwarte haren’ (2019). The novel deals with fictional 20th-century artist Pieter ‘Pedro’ van der Laan, and his extreme obsessions with abstract art and Modernism.
The album was released by Onism Productions and Kunstlicht in 2021.
Black Square (1915), by Kazimir Malevich (1879 - 1935)
‘Grey Aura’s weirdness is oddly alluring, an unsettling case of art house delirium that one could perhaps ascribe to the effects of heat stroke or staring at the sun for too long.’
-Wyatt Marshall, Stereogum
‘Netherlands’ Grey Aura has always had the reputational dichotomy of being one of the most genuinely interesting bands to pop up in the last couple of years whilst also being one of the best kept open secrets in avant-garde black metal.’
‘To say that Dutch musical explorers Grey Aura push the boundaries of black metal would be a tremendously unhelpful understatement.‘
-Andrew Graham, Metal Temple
'It's easy to say a band isn't confined to genres, but fucking hell is Grey Aura all over the place. A black metal band at heart, but there's patches of jazz, spoken word and ambient on their second demo, and all this while staying within the concept.'
-Peter van der Ploeg, To the Teeth