Aeon
Dark Order EP

Summoned from the very same aged and burnt grimoire as Morbid Angel, Incantation and, perhaps, Krisiun, Aeon’s brand of death metal is incendiary, hell-wrought and well scaled. Dark Order is also predictable, but more on that later.

Despite genre’s trodden path, Aeon do manage to bend, manipulate and smith their own sound by using a myriad of techniques successfully. Whereas Krisiun’s wind-’em-up-and-go intensity wears thin after two or three songs and Incantation’s propensity for the slow and dark is yawn-inducing, these Swedish liegemen have discovered the near-perfect alchemical blend of both. “Return of Appolluon” opens Aeon’s demo-turned-Ep with an assault of Biblical proportions only Morbid Angel and close peers are mature enough to channel. At times, the song bears a Cannibal Corpse-style (circa-Tomb of the Mutilated) gait, especially in the drum department, but quickly moves on to heightened levels compositional know-how. Ditto for “Eternal Hate.”

Aeon parlay the mid-paced bottom-end of their gore-minded older brothers with an adept use of fretboard work to form a semi-technical expression similar to Dying Fetus’ own “Pissing in the Mainstream.” The note-centric guitar work of Zeb Nilsson and Morgan Nordbakk is of commendable notice Aeon’s battle-axe rhythm/lead isn’t too dissimilar from an Erik Rutan and Jack Owen tandem, one that’s never likely to happen but wishful thinking nonetheless. “With Blood They Pay” displays an equal fervor for riffolatry, launching volley after volley of molten earth unheard of from such an obscure outfit. It’s death metal for the quick-witted, ’cause nothing on “With Blood…” is purely barbaric. Yet, here we are four blasphemous hymns into the album’s six, and the urgency of first three quickly smolders. By no means are “The Awakening” and “Hell Unleashed” simple treads through the expected, but Aeon’s creative arsenal is more or less a recital of the first half when it should’ve been a varied continuation of it.

There are bright spots nestled in the melee, but such morsels of death metal ingenuity don’t compensate for complacency. “Bloodlust” is sandwiched between the two. The Cannibal Corpse lurch resurfaces only to be complemented by a dizzying rhythmic workout. In many ways, Aeon uses its mid-paced sections as a battering ram, the blunt force power often…er, heaved forward by the nimble fingers of the guitarists.

 The difficulty in commenting on the Aeon’s future and stamina is certainly unpredictable yet hypothetically speaking, however, if Dark Order’s furious six are any indication of what’s to come there’s ample room to reason the full-length is going to be quick sometimes masterful, sometimes not death metal delivered with the fire of youth. Dark Order is an impressive work-in-progress that no one that owns records by any of the above bands should do without.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Dick
May 7th, 2001

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