Aeon
Aeon Black

Sweden’s Aeon is back with another brutal slab of their blasphemous brand of Floridian-styled death metal.  Aeons Black is their fourth album, and not a great deal has changed since dropping their Unique Leader debut Bleeding the False, back in 2005.  Aeon have never really had progression in mind, instead following a tried and true formula of blasting, Christ-bashing brutality interlocked with a solid mix of technicality, dynamics and groove.

Throughout their solid, workman-like career Aeon’s lack of innovation has been compensated by song-writing that remains engaging and infectiously catchy, albeit a little one-dimensional at times, and their professional approach and dedication to their craft has largely kept them above the hordes of similarly-styled death metal acts.   Coupled with accomplished musicianship and tongue-in-cheek lyricism, Aeon’s meat and potatoes death metal continues to hold a solid appeal.

Aeons Black follows their trend of consistency and memorable song-writing and has a greater focus on mixing up the tempos and taking a satisfyingly groove-based route.  That said the blasting fury and jacked-up speed are still the focal points of their sound, but they show a greater willingness to deviate from the more frenetic and brutal path.  The killer riff and neck-snapping groove at the 2.06 minute-mark highlights “The Glowing Hate”; a fine early-album example of excellent pacing and bludgeoning groove.  The intensity and variation of drummer Arttu Malkki’s double bass work drives the song; while Tommy Dahlström’s deep, well-enunciated growl is complimented by blackened higher-pitched backing vocals.

The excellent “I Wish you Death” has a hammering blend of blast beats and guitar squeals, tempered by mid-paced chugs and tasteful soloing.Speaking of which, the lead work of Zeb Nilsson is a unique asset to Aeon’s otherwise relatively straight-forward sound, offering a surprisingly deft and melodic counterpoint to the crushing heaviness.  “Garden of Sin”is a catchy tune defined by a dynamic structure and hard-hitting, instantly memorable chorus that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a Bloodbath album. The punishing and aptly titled “Nothing Left to Destroy” carries its slightly longer length with aplomb, striking a winning balance between bruising intensity, groove and accessibility.  It’s this level of song-writing quality that makes Aeonso entertaining and fun to listen to.And although some of the songs blaze by without leaving much impression, Aeon’s Black maintains the rage for much of its duration.

At a touch over 50-minutes, greater ruthlessness and efficiency in the studio could have tightened up the whole package, trimming the filler and some of the weaker tracks to strengthen the finished product.The shorter interludes and atmospheric tracks in particular don’t add a great deal overall; stifling momentum and adding unnecessary length to the album.  A better example is the 1.12-minute instrumental “Neptune the Mystic”.  The song is devoid of growls and blast beats but the instrumental stays on the heavier side musically, alternately breaking up the pace and serving as respite from the otherwise relentless assault.

Aeon has always favored strong production values and Aeon’s Black is no exception.  The sound is clear and suitably heavy, although it might be a little too polished and processed for some tastes.  Nevertheless the production gives the material a digitized modern crunch that offsets their old-school values and raw ferocity.

Those not previously swayed by Aeon’s no-frills style of death metal will find nothing to change their mind here; but fans of their previous works will savor another fine addition to an enjoyable, if unspectacular discography.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
November 26th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Deepsend Records

    This is the best Cannibal Corpse album since “Bloodthirst”


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