Aeon of Horus
Existence

Aeon of Horus is a progressive metal band that has built a solid reputation on the Australian metal scene in recent years.  Formed back in 2006 the band released their solid yet understated debut, The Embodiment of Darkness and Light in 2008, and despite a rather limited recorded output (their debut is wedged between a couple of EP’s) and some line-up changes along the way, Aeon of Horus have remained active on the live front, consolidating a reputation as a formidable and hard-working live band. They have secured a number of high profile support slots with the likes of Satyricon, Pig Destroyer, Despised Icon, Darkest Hour and Born of Osiris, showcasing their versatility and strong work ethics on the live front.

Sophomore album Existence finds the band recharged and thrusting forward with a complex modern progressive metal/death metal hybrid that displays their growth as musicians and songwriters and willingness to stretch out into more experimental territory.  Existence trumps their previous efforts with a more confident and balanced display of songwriting and their trademark finesse in the instrumental department. These dudes have considerable talent and the musicianship is outstanding across the board. The prominent bass work of Adam Brown stands out, adding plenty of spark and heft in combination with the complex rhythmic drive of drummer Ben Hocking (also of the Levitation Hex).  Brown frequently shares the limelight, bringing plenty of inventive basslines to the table, accentuating the riffs and putting his individual stamp on the album.

Meanwhile guitarist Peter Meere spearheads the band’s offensive with a tight blend of technicality, snaking progressive melodies and some harder edged riffage. A few more tasty leads and catchy neck-snapping riffs would have been nice, but otherwise he delivers an excellent performance; while the deathly growls of Andy Annand counteract the band’s melodic sensibilities and quieter passages with some welcome aggression. Aeon of Horus fuse their experimental flourishes into a tight framework of stuttering grooves, angular melodies and harsher death metal elements, upholding a song-based approach without drifting into the common pitfalls of progressive bands, such as drifting into aimless meandering or fretboard wankery.   The strong technical and progressive bent is complemented by the atmospheric backbone of the well-placed keyboards; adding further depth and texture to the album.

The band mix-up their experimental urges with the heavier aspects of their music, creating a modern sound that is musically challenging but grounded by the overall accessibility of the material. Softer proggy breaks, ambient textures and spacey atmospherics crop-up during parts of the album and the transitions into these softer passages are executed quite fluently, but may be a little too distracting or jarring for some listeners.  Engineered by Clayton Segelov and mixed and mastered by Jochem Jacobs (Textures, The Red Shore), production-wise the band opt for a slick and punchy sound that fits with the organic flow of the music, sounding full and balanced without being overly clinical.

The tight muscular rhythms of opener “Refraction” dominate a twisting composition that includes a soft melodic break and injection of ambience, before winding down with some spiralling guitar and keyboard melodies undercut by the commanding double kicks.  It serves as a solid example of the songwriting style the band deploys throughout the album. The atmospheric beginning of “Symbiosis” morphs into a melodic and beguiling main riff that anchors one of the album’s most complete songs. The harsher vocals and a couple of strong groove-based moments serve as a winning counterpoint to the progressive and atmospheric foundations of the song.  Three instrumental songs also feature across the 10 track album; the most successful being the jazz-infected prog crunch and sci-fi vibe on “Thesis”.

The ethereal lead work, scattershot rhythms and spidery guitars featured on the aggressive “Antithesis”; and the dazzling tech-prog of “Release” are a couple more notable standouts.  The album winds down with the ambitious 9.41-minute epic, “Resolve”; a mostly successful marriage of ambient textures, haunting piano lines and metallic force.

With Existence, Aeon of Horus have taken their progressive metal to the next level, delivering an accomplished album that should appeal to fans with a penchant for technical, experimental and progressive modern metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
March 25th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This would go over well with the Born of Osiris, After the Burial, The Faceless crowd. Not bad at all


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    Nice write up, I’ve been digging this.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    this is really good, gonna be spinning this a lot this week I think


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