Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review of "Aeons Black" by Aeon

Buy this album

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

Ready to take the underground death metal world by storm, Sweden’s AEON are back and ready to release their fourth full-length album, AEONS BLACK, on Metal Blade Records November 20, 2012. Regarded as one of the world's most noted blasphemous underground death metal bands, AEONS BLACK is the follow up to 2010’s Path of Fire, which About.com called ”a juicy slab of prime-cut blasphemous death metal” and according to Ultimate-Guitar.com, ”doesn’t let up in terms of insanely fast tempos, chugging guitars, and demonic vocals,” calling the band ”a musical dynamo” and landing the album an 8 out of 10 score.

Tommy Dahlstöm(vocals), Zeb Nilsson (guitar), Daniel Dlimi (guitar), Arttu Mallki (Drums), and Marcus Edvardsson (Bass) entered Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden 1 thru 20 of June 2012 to record AEONS BLACK, which was engineered, mixed and mastered by Ronnie Björnström (Garageland Studios). For AEONS BLACK cover, the band secured a piece from infamous artist Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin who’s known for creating cover art for bands like Bathory, At The Gates, Dissection, Emperor, and King Diamond just to name a few.

Guitarist and founding member Zeb Nilsson comments on the sound and artwork of AEONS BLACK:
“This is definitely our most varied album to date; it has more heavy songs yet it has lots of fast blastbeats and double bass drums.  It´s more groovy this time, which I think we lacked on our last album Path of Fire that was fast paced almost all the way through.

That and the amazing mix by Ronnie Björnström makes me feel pretty confident that this album will appeal to much more people than our previous albums. And no, we have not gone softer in any aspect; it´s just easier to catch with all this grooviness, it´s just metal right up your ass!!”

About the cover art work… “This time we wanted a hand painted cover since we have never had that, and who could be more suited for that task than Kristian ‘Necrolord’ Wåhlin?  The funny thing was that he already had a cover that he thought would suit us and after seeing it we really agreed as it really follows the lyrical theme for the title track Aeon´s Black. It´s all very dark and chaotic and about the unavoidable end of all life that sooner or later comes to all worlds.”

The band will be touring in support of AEONS BLACK with the first run set to take place in the UK January 2013. More tour dates, including dates in North America, are in the works giving metal fans across the world the chance to see the band perform this new and utterly devastating material live.

A History of Aeon:
During the summer of 1999 the four members: Tommy Dahlström, Zeb Nilsson, Johan Hjelm and Arttu Malkki of the newly broken up band Defaced Creation decided to form a new death-metal band that would try to create a more pioneering and interesting style, instead of doing the usual “old-school” death-metal, (even though the roots was in the “old-school” death-metal). Morgan Nordbakk  joins as fill in guitarist and during the Fall of that year, Aeon recorded their first demo, which included the songs “Return of Apolluon”, “Eternal Hate”, “With Blood they Pay”, “The Awakening”, “Bloodlust” and “Hell Unleashed”. In May of 2001, the 6-track demo was released as a MCD – entitled Dark Order – thru Necropolis Records. Dark Order sold out very quickly and is still in high demand.

Later in 2001, Morgan Nordbakk leaves Aeon, to be replaced by Daniel Dlimi (ex-Equinox ov the Gods). Daniel is an experienced song-writer in Aeon’s style of death metal, so the transition was smooth and easy. In the summer of 2002, drummer Arttu Malkki leaves the band to be replaced by Nils Fjellström followed by work on their first album.

In the fall of 2003, Aeon began recording Bleeding the False, which was released on September 20th, 2005 through Unique Leader. The album was received well in the metal underground with both fans and press.

In April 2006, Aeon hit the road in Europe with Cannibal Corpse and were met with an overwhelming response by the fans. Later that summer, Aeon parted ways with longtime bass player Johan Hjelm (replaced by Max Carlberg), and in July, they signed a deal with Metal Blade Records.

In April 2007 the band recorded the album Rise to Dominate and in September it was released by Metal Blade Records. Much like the previous album, this one received very good response from both media and fans and demand for the band to tour in the North America continued to grow.

In January 2009, the band hits the European roads with Hate Eternal, Misery Index and See You Next Tuesday and after that they continued working on the new album. In September, Aeon parted ways with bass player Max Carlberg, who was replaced by former Satyricon bass player Victor Brandt, and the band recorded the album Path of Fire. In November, Aeon supported Mayhem on their Swedish dates on their “25 Years of Chaos” tour. In January 2010, bass player Victor leaves Aeon and was replaced by Marcus Edvardsson.

In May 2010, Aeon released their third full-lenght album, Path Of Fire thru Metal Blade Records, which was mixed by multi-talent Erik Rutan at Mana Studio in Florida and mastered by Alan Douches for West West Side Music.Once more the band was met with high praise from the death metal community and press alike with Metal Review saying the album ”excels in every department required for a stellar death metal record” and About.com calling the album ”a juicy slab of prime-cut blasphemous death metal.” In September of the same year, drummer Nils Fjellström left Aeon and by November the band re-recruits original / founding member, Arttu Mallki, to once again be the force behind the drums. In April 2011 Aeon headlined a shorter UK / EU tour with Cerebral Bore and Flyed Disciple

Enter 2012: By the 1st of June Aeon began recording their 4th full-length album and third release for Metal Blade, Aeons Black, with engineer/producer Ronnie Björnström (Garageland Studios). During this recording a 20 minutes documentary was also made, which will be premiered to the masses before the album drops on November 20, 2012. Aeon is already confirmed for a UK tour which will take place in January 2013 with more dates for Europe and North America in the works..

Bringing brutality, to my otherwise calm reviewing day, is Aeon. Starting off the album is the very in your face “Still They Pray” with the powerful riffs and catchy grooves. The solos are plentiful and very impressive. The next track, “The Glowing Hate” brings extremely dirty riffs and chugs and the vocals are gnarly as well. The guitars are slower in how they are played out, but slower death metal is sometimes grimier than the faster stuff. “The Voice of the Accuser” is a short track with piano and ambient break. The album goes right back into the brutality with “I Wish You Death.” The pinch harmonics and lead guitar were very entertaining. The riffs on this track are very catchy in their delivery. There’s another amazing solo on this track and some very sludgy chugs following.

The tempo changes felt weird on “Garden of Sin” but kept it interesting. The guitars seemed a little Meshuggah inspired which is awesome and made for a great listen the way they flowed. “Neptune the Mystic” is another short track, bringing a minute of menacing chug riffs and leads. It’s not as calm a break as prior but is heavy nonetheless. I really liked the short drum solo to start “Nothing Left to Destroy” off right and goes straight into the brutality. The higher backing vocal screams are really gruelling and go well with the deeper main growls on this track. The solo or harmonization half way through was awesome. Another short track is “Passage to Hell” with a very eerie feel to it, which makes you feel as if you’re walking through the halls of Hell while hearing painful moans, and then you’re greeted by marching drums and a choir. “Aeons Black” is another slow brutal track, with catchy but dirty riffs. The vocals are really menacing on this as well.

Bringing a great mix of moshable riffs and slow chug bits is the next track “Dead Means Dead.” The combination of growls and screams is nailed perfectly on this track. There is a great solo near the end, these guys do solos perfectly and always impress. Aeon has shown that they are brutal and know their craft well and “Sacrificed” is really dirty and the riffs are executed amazingly, the vocals follow suit. “Aftermath” is another short break with eerie ambience and demonic laughter. The next track, “Blessed By the Priest,” is extremely slammy in its delivery but I love it. It is heavy and makes me want to burn down churches, so they’re doing it right. “Maze of the Damned” starts up right away and is filled with fast gnarly riffs the whole way through. The drums don’t let up once and there is also a great solo on this track. It is definitely a good song to go around punching the elderly too. This album ends in a great way with the last track “Die By My Hands.” It has a good mix of growls and evil backing screams, the ambient choir chants added to it as well. The guitars on this track are the most technical on the whole album in my opinion.

Being a first time listener I was not sure what to expect, but I knew it was going to be heavy. I’m not sure if Tommy Dahlstöm takes care of both the growls and the screams, but if he does that is quite impressive. Zeb Nilsson and Daniel Dlimi both terrorize your ears with their ear melting shreds and also highly impressive solos as well. Arttu Mallki brings you machine gun style drumming and Marcus Edvardsson brings some ear bleeding bass riffs. I definitely recommend picking this album up if you like bands like Cannibal Corpse and Beneath the Massacre.

No comments:

Post a Comment