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Sorrow to Earth - 82%

Livingwave17, October 27th, 2018

I will start by saying that I’m not an admirer of doom metal as a genre. The dragging four chord patterns of the songs have always seemed boring and uninspired to me and I could never appreciate the depressing lyrics and atmosphere. Funeral doom metal takes these features to even further extremes. It’s a perfect recipe to have you frantically hacking at your wrists with a kitchen knife. Aeonian Sorrow’s debut is the first doom metal album that I’ve liked since Trees of Eternity. I’ll admit that not being an expert in the field I can become very judgemental of the simplicity of the music. But earlier today I was watching a video with Nergal of Behemoth where he very eloquently pointed out that “…opinions are like assholes… everybody has one”. And for that reason I will leave my opinion of song structures and complexity out of the discussion. After a single spin of “Into the Eternity a Moment We Are” I could understand that this album does not set out to satisfy my insatiable lust for sweep picking, 6/7 time signatures and breakdowns. This time, all the ‘doom metal clichés’ seemed to make sense and fall right into place.

This album is all about the atmosphere that it creates and the message it sends out to the listener. It comes forward as an exploration of the deepest corners of our minds and really succeeds at creating a mournful ambiance. It almost seems like the emotion that comes with the music isn’t human, but a dark vibration that resonates with the whole world. The slow pace feels patient rather then dragging, and the lyrics create a picture of loss and regret that really reaches into you. It doesn’t send a dark emotion but just awakens what is already inside you. The best thing that I have to say about this album is that it is truly genuine.

The reason for this success in expression is probably the circumstances that surrounded the composer at the time of writing. The band’s lead singer and creative mind Gogo Melone claims that when these songs were emerging, she was in a really dark place and I can only say that whatever she was feeling is now deeply rooted in the sound of her creation. For once I can truly say ‘I feel you’. We should be grateful that she found a way to channel her sorrow into something beautiful. And another aspect that I love about this album is that in an ocean of personal feelings, she has found space to write a great tribute song to Aleah Stanbridge of Trees of Eternity, titled ‘Memory of Love’.

Overall, the album revolves around a piano and strings background that sets the ominous mood and on top come the heavy guitars and harsh vocals that really give meaning to the word ‘catharsis’. The best asset of the music is probably the contrast between Gogo’s beautiful clean singing and Alejandro Lotero’s harsh vocals. The song ‘Thanatos Kyrie’ really puts them both under the spotlight and is my personal favorite on the record. It feels like a thick and suffocating mist with a pale sun shining somewhere behind it. It’s a true dark meditation.

I will come back to my obnoxious and judgemental self for the end to say that you really shouldn’t listen to this album if you’re tired or sleepy, because that funeral doom metal recipe will put you in a coma without warning. But in appropriate circumstances, Aeonian Sorrow’s debut is really enjoyable and for true connoisseurs of the genre, it’s a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered. Despite this music not being my cup of tea I have listened and analyzed the album more than once and I have not only come out of it with my wrists intact but also having enjoyed it. Into the Eternity this album is just a Moment. A moment that I hope you can spare to listen to a song or two. YouTube and Bandcamp below.


Forever Undying Tragedy - 85%

andreipianoman, August 21st, 2018

Aeonian Sorrow is a newly formed funeral doom metal act revolving around the songwriting and lyrics of vocalist and keyboardist Gogo Melone. I've never listened to a full doom metal album before. This is my first time looking into this genre and the experience is very different from what I would have imagined. Their debut is a deep insight into the darkest of human emotions expressed in a very strange way.

From the first notes, this music takes you away. It's very hard to stay connected to the real world and not drown into it. Whether you like it or not, it's very intoxicating and somehow draws you in. "Forever Misery" is the song that made want to hear this album. The blend of crushing guitar sound and heavy growls merging with the grave to of the piano sound and melancholic keyboards and female vocals really made an impression on me. And somehow I'm not bothered by the really slow, dragging pace. As the opener, it sets the tone for the album's atmosphere and drowns all the energy out, to let the darkness take over. As a result of a very good production, the sound is massive and has a lot of substance, making it easy for all the weight to slow you down. There is however some dynamic between the two vocalists, contrasting heavy growls with the pure melancholic clean vocals and creating a sense of interaction. This doesn't appear as much in the rest of the songs on the album and is what made this one stand out to me. "Shadows Mourn", "Under the Light" and "Insendia" just felt like tuned down versions of the opener but I don't think that's something to criticize in itself. As the overall atmosphere seems ever-descending and draining of life, tuning down somehow seems natural.

As you might expect, the lyrics describe depression, suffering and grief. These are the common doom metal subjects but in this album, the lyrical content as well as the emotions carried by the music extend deeper than that. It's an ongoing feeling of uselessness and empty hope that leads nowhere. The "funeral" tag is well placed too as there's a deathly and mournful tone slipping through. It's very unnatural. It makes you experience all these emotions but it doesn't feel as if they're coming from the music, more like the music is bringing out the darkness that was already in there and gives you a chance to contemplate it. A very important aspect is how the female vocals bring some sort of comfort into all this, not really brightening it but creating a sense of harmony. And you just spiral down.

I can relate to some of the lyrics. I'm not sure what the concept is but there's going to be at least one verse you'll find that you'll be able to connect with. One song I really admire is "Memory of Love", which brings a very good tribute to Aleah Stanbridge from Tress of Eternity.

The song that stands out the most to me, although I wouldn't say it's the best, is "Thanatos Kyrie". This one is the sound of emptiness. The deeply disturbing, dragging tempo and the echoing sound of the drums with just an eerie layer of keyboard and the growls generate some sort of void that drains all life and leaves you stale. For almost ten minutes this sound penetrates your mind going on and on, seemingly endless. And then the female vocals come in the end with just three words, expressed in endless pain: "Sorrow to earth".

The whole album is very tragic and the end leaves the sensation that this will never end. It's very well put together but I can't actually say I like it. This is a bit of a paradox because you can't expect to actually enjoy music that sends out depression and drowns your energy but it is more like an introspection that shows the darkest side of your nature. And even if you're the happiest person in the world, there's a good chance that this inner demon is still hiding somewhere inside you, waiting for Aeonian Sorrow to bring it back to life. You will be in your darkest self and even if only for an hour, that experience will in some way change the way you see yourself. For me, it made me realize just how low one can sink inside himself but whether you choose to do that is up to you. This is just an experience to make you see it.