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Mediterranean Face Melting Metal - 75%

TheAntagonist, September 4th, 2011

For a long time I lived and died by the staple of the Greek black metal scene, Rotting Christ; never really exploring bands from the Mediterranean as much as I would have liked. Since I am always on the hunt for anything new in the metal scene it was very fortuitous that I happened upon Aenaon’s latest offering Cendres Et Sang. What Aenaon attempt to do is blend two diametrically opposed genres of music: jazz and black metal. Just the mentioning of this would leave one thinking that this combination just isn’t going to end well. Nevertheless, as the old and overused adage goes, looks can be deceiving.

Aenaon are quite an intriguing band to say the least. One band that comes to mind in terms of sound is Aborym and in all honesty, they hit just as hard as Aborym in shear intensity as well as melody. Most songs follow the same structure with heavy blast sections coupled with methodically placed jazz interludes. Now I know you may be thinking, “what the hell?” Surprisingly, it manages to work on some weird plane of existence where two polar opposite styles are transfused into an unholy union. The song “Suncord” is a perfect representation of what this band is all about, from it’s straight ahead black metal tendencies, moody jazz breaks and an operatic, over-the-top vocal delivery from Astrous that can be likened to the style employed by Nemtheanga from Primordial.

Let me take a moment here to make mention of the jazz side of things. While it is used somewhat sparingly it appears in the intro track “Kafkaesque” exclusively and then is interspersed throughout songs as break sections as I had previously mentioned. At some points the saxophone parts sound reminiscent to something that John Zorn and Mike Patton would do with their project Moonchild. There are a few instances where the jazz parts tend to detract from the overall integrity of the album, but I have been spinning this disc off and on for a week straight. The album itself seems to peak around the song “Necroscope” and never seems to get back it’s overall intensity. Not to say that the last two tracks aren’t good, but they sound more forced and flatter in comparison with the rest of the album. Also, look for a cover of “In Heaven” which was taken from the David Lynch movie Eraserhead. This choice appears as little more than a throw away track, but I guess they were looking to mix it up a bit.

All in all Aenaon pack a major punch and bring a lot to the table with Cendres Et Sang. While I don’t think the album is all that groundbreaking I definitely admire the effort that is put forth and feel that it is worth checking out. I think that if they stay the course in another 5 years or so they could be pretty huge. That is just my opinion, but so is everything that you just read.

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