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Aeons Confer > Zero Elysium > Reviews
Aeons Confer - Zero Elysium

Aeons Confer - Zero Elysium - 87%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 23rd, 2021
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Independent (Digipak)

Hailing from Hamburg/Germany Aeons Confer are a pretty long running act. Having already been formed in the late nineties their output only consists of two full lengths and a few EPs though, but quality over quantity is what they say. Their style is listed as symphonic black/death metal here, but based on their most recent album “Zero Elysium” while certainly this description is only half of the truth. Aeons Confer have incorporated quite a lot of different elements in their music and it speaks volumes about their compositional talent and vision that most of the time the songs come across as well though out and stringent compositions.

On the surface there is nothing really that innovative when judges by its single ingredients. This is another one of those examples where a solid melodic death metal basis is enhanced by some black metal epics. The tremolo riffing and the key sequences remind of well-known peers like Behemoth and while this might sound a bit negative they are played with a lot of enthusiasm. Each song has trademark chords that are hitting hard and that are presented with just enough variation to keep things fresh enough over the whole playing time. The star of the show might be the lead guitar work which is phenomenal in places with harmonies ranging from melancholic and hypnotic to epic and uplifting. The guitar lines also build a great symbiosis with the keyboard parts.

The drumming is on point and although often very technical and complex, though thankfully not too chaotic or nervous. Even when the tempo is upped everything stays in line and the clear structure of each song is followed until the end. There are quite a lot of blast-beat sections, but they are used in a pretty effective way. Despite the sheer heaviness and mechanical precision of the instrumental wizardry the songs are quite accessible and pretty easy to get into. This is helped by the vocal parts, which are split between screaming, growling and some clean sung chorus sections, lending the music kind of a power metal feeling at times. Sometimes the riffing can get a bit chugging, also adding a bit of a modern touch to the overall picture.

While the instrumentation is very professional the album is more about delivering an atmospheric and stringent piece of music than about technical prowess. Nearly each song has some parts in which the instrumentation is toned down to make place for symphonic samples and melodic interludes. Often the tempo is kept in mid-tempo with only a few speedier sections sprinkled across the record. Because of that those pieces are even more intense as the eruptions of aggressiveness often come unexpected. Aeons Confer have a great feeling for building up tension by implementing all those haunting details before the next relentless attack will sweep away the careless listener.

It might not come as surprise that the production is very polished and modern sounding. The different audio tracks are easy to separate from each other, which helps to fully appreciate the well-constructed songs. The lead melodies and symphonic elements are clearly identifiable and not buried beneath the heavy wall of sound. All in all “Zero Elysium” is quite an ambitious piece of music and easily worth checking out in case you are open minded and on the search for something combining heaviness and epic harmonies.