Aeon – Aeons Black

0

Review by Jason Guest

Metal Blade

Having been in the brutality business since 1999, Swedish death metallers Aeon know a thing or two about producing seriously damaging death metal, and with album number four, Aeons Black, they return with an album that is as unremitting as you’d expect any death metal album to be but with a few elements thrown in to create their most varied album to date. With most albums usually opening with or being bookended by instrumentals that are quickly forgotten when all hell is unleashed, Aeon have challenged this norm by including four instrumentals spread across the album to provide the occasional respite to make the fifty minute jaunt through the anti-Christian battery a little less daunting.

Openers ‘Still They Pray’ and ‘Garden Of Sin’ set the tone with the fiercely intense riffs and demonic drumming courtesy of skin-smasher, Arttu Mallki (who has since been replaced by Emil Wiksten). ‘I Wish You Death’, ‘Nothing Left To Destroy’, and ‘Dead Means Dead’ are all astounding offerings, as are three closing tracks which feature some of the album’s best riffs. ‘Blessed Be The Priest’ slams out a palm-muted chugathon over the lambasting double kick work interspersed with pinch harmonics aplenty. ‘Maze Of The Damned’ speeds things up a little with off-time riffs, a gnarled lead break, and a crushing but all-too-brief pinch harmonic-laden riff. The psychopathic promise of closing track ‘Die By My Hands’ sees the band pulling out all the stops and finishing the album off with an elaborately structured track that allows the band to explore their dynamic prowess in more depth, something that they perhaps should have considered for a few other tracks here.

The instrumental tracks may all be very good pieces, but their inclusion isn’t wholly successful. The intention may have been to provide some variation in the album’s structure, but their inclusion means that the album’s impact is diminished. The flood of uncompromising intensity comes to be choked, the evil tide stemmed mid flow after just two or three tracks. And then just as the album gets going again, another instrumental appears. They serve only to curtail the blasphemous tide that’s never allowed to achieve full flow and the album feels more like a collection of EPs – albeit very good EPs it must be said. Another flaw is the dependence yet again on the anti-organised religion lyrics. Aeon have been bringing down God since their inception so maybe it’s time to branch out into other topics before they start to truly stale. Black metal’s got it covered anyway…

Flawless musicianship; technical, precise, and cutting riffs; the lead work is balanced with the gruesome brutality of the rhythm tracks; Dahlström’s throat-shredding vocals are commanding and demonic; and phenomenal drumming. The bass is in there somewhere but as usual it’s barely audible. Solid production and a brick-wall sound, with fifteen tracks in fifty minutes, Aeon could have trimmed this down a little and had a much more concentrated album on their hands. But as it stands, like the artwork, the darkly edged Aeons Black is a mighty slab of utterly vicious death metal that has much to offer. Well worth a blast.

7 out of 10

  • To be taken to Aeon’s website, bang your head, raise your horns, spit toxic bile and then click here
  • To visit Aeon’s Facebook page, close your eyes, cross your fingers, make a wish and then click here (with your eyes open, of course)

Aeon - Aeons BlackTrack listing:

  1. Still They Pray
  2. The Glowing Hate
  3. The Voice Of The Accuser
  4. I Wish You Death
  5. Garden Of Sin
  6. Neptune The Mystic
  7. Nothing Left To Destroy
  8. Passage To Hell
  9. Aeons Black
  10. Dead Means Dead
  11. Sacrificed
  12. Aftermath
  13. Blessed By The Priest
  14. Maze Of The Damned
  15. Die By My Hands