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With a style reminiscent of power punching Deicide; in the blue album we have Aeon: a quintet hailing from Sweden with a record of 1 Demo, 1 EP, and 4 full-lengths, with the most recent coming by way of knockout.
And a knockout 'Aeons Black' was. Aeon came out throwing power punches in the first round and never let up, from track 1 until the track 15 with very few tracks being taken off. When envisioning what kind of boxer Aeon would be based on this album, I came to the conclusion that it would likely resemble someone who is Swedish, a heavyweight that has concussive power and possesses good stamina. That fighter probably would have been Ingemar Johansson, a heavyweight who had the ability to drop an opponent at any given moment with "toonder and lightning". Aeon likewise, showed with this album that a knockout can come at any point.
In this album, Aeon has sacrificed a little technical ability with the intent of slowing the tempo and creating more groove induced riffs. This, to me, is their smartest move as musicians. This approach has also reduced the tech-influenced guitar tone you would hear frequently on their previous albums. They went with a thick and meaty sound, which is more tasteful. The riffs however, are still fast and tremolo-picked which has, and should always be, at the core of their sound. The riffs are catchy as well as varied and make it easy to discern track from track. The instrumental breaks between a few songs also help, and add a nice break from the sonic onslaught. The solos are one of the highlights of 'Aeons Black', with many being flat-out awesome. They are fast and creative, and provide a satisfying climax to the songs they are implemented into. Nilsson deserves some credit.
Regardless of Wiksten`s intentions, his drumming turned out to be simply effective. I am stressing simply a little bit because this is not the tightest or most varied drumming you will ever hear, but for me it was almost what I was looking for. I was hoping for something more organic than the drumming on 'Path of Fire'(though Fjellstrom is more talented) which sounded very plastic and more done up than one of those belts you see a boxing champion hold up after a victory. I wanted drumming more like 'Rise to Dominate' which helped emphasize the guitar work. This is where it proved effective.
The bass is relatively quiet and follows the guitars. There is nothing notable. Dahlstrom`s vocals however, are a combination of power punches to the body and head. His vocals are characterized by discernible low growls and very nice, almost screech-like highs. He sounds like Benton, except with greater range. The lyrical content is centered around anti-Christianity and though not very thought provoking, they are catchy and easy to growl along to. The catchiness of the songwriting has been a staple in Aeon`s music. It is one thing that helps separate Aeon from other bands who attempt the same thing.
Within the context of 2012, this album is at or near the top of death metal releases. And though I have referenced Deicide because the influence is clear, this band is not a clone, but a band who makes solid material which stands on its own. I hope this is an indicator of things to come.