Sweden’s Aeon (one of eight bands with the same name list in that essential resource for any serious metal journalist, or fan for that matter, the Encyclopaedia Metallum) count no less than the mighty Alex ‘Corpsegrinder’ Webster among their legion fans. And it’s not hard to see why on ‘Aeons Black’, the band’s fourth full length album – and one which can be quite honestly as nothing short of a modern death metal masterpiece.
What we have are 15 tracks of brutal, blasphemous death metal designed to send the most evangelical of firebrand preachers running for cover behind their crosses and even the hardiest of headbangers to the nearest A&E with neck damage.
Yet, in among all the brutality, there are also loads of (at times almost infuriatingly catchy) melodies, particularly from the guitar interplay of Zeb Nilsson and Daniel Dlimi, who are both supremely technically able musicians. Bassist Marcus Edvardsson and drummer Arttu Malkki provide the heavy artillery rhythm attack with allows the two shredders to deliver salvo after salvo of strafing riffs and harmonies, while Tommy Dahlström is a true powerhouse of a vocalist, switching easily between traditional death metal growling and more blackened growling – and even adding in almost spoken interjections, such as on the second half of the magnificently evil ‘The Glowing Hate’.
It’s hard to pick out highlights, as each and every track is outstanding in its own right, but ones which will be own repeat on my own iPod will definitely be the acerbic ‘I Wish You Death’, the fantastic title track, the defiant ‘Dead Means Dead’ and the suitably winding ‘Maze Of The Dead’.
Definitely one of a handful of albums released this year that shows death metal is very much a force to be reckoned with and, when done properly, continues to break new boundaries.
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
13. Blessed By The Priest
14. Maze Of The Damned
15. Die By My Hands
‘Aeons Black’ is available now on Metal Blade: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aeons-Black-Aeon/dp/B0094Q7PYK/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1354357944&sr=1-1
Aeon visit the UK and Ireland on the following dates:
January 16th – Relentless Garage, London
January 17th – Bogiez, Cardiff
January 18th – Cyprus Avenue, Cork
January 19th – The Pint, Dublin
January 20th – Voodoo, Belfast
January 21st – The Lomax, Liverpool
January 22nd – The Croft, Bristol
January 23rd – White Rabbit, Plymouth
Support on all dates comes from Dyscarnate and Ageless Oblivion.
Follow Aeon at http://www.facebook.com/aeon666