Aeon - Rise To Dominate
Metal Blade
Brutal Death Metal
12 songs (45:08)
Release year: 2007
Aeon, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Dylan
Aeon deserves a pat on the back, and a few kegs on the house, for they have just made this year’s death metal output that much stronger. Hailing from Sweden, American Death Metal is what they seem to be most influenced by. Riffs that sound drenched in Cannibal Corpse’s style, groove that harkens back to Skinless or Suffocation, and a vocalist that sounds like the equally evil brother of Peter Tägtgren. Even though their influences make for quite a brutal collection of bands, Aeon has not forgotten the art of making such punishment stick in your head. Anyone who is familiar with their 2005 debut Bleeding The False should already be aware of this, and should be very happy to know that every aspect of Aeon’s sound has received a huge shot in the arm.

One major improvement fans will immediately notice is the much more fitting production job, thanks in large part to mixing skills of fellow Swede Dan Swanö. Bleeding The False had a fair share of cool riffs, overpowering vocal lines, and punishing drum beats, but the power of all these musical forces sounded like it was being pushed through a hole no bigger than the palm of my hand. The guitar sound on that album sounded too tinny to fit on an obscure 80s thrash demo, but it felt grossly out of place on a modern death metal album. The floppy kick drum and seemingly absent bass only served to worsen things. Luckily for Aeon, their vocalist (Tommy Dahlström) could force out quite a growl, and write some of the most entertaining, tongue-in-cheek lyrics in death metal. The lyrical content seems to have a more serious tone this time around. Still revolving around familiar subjects in death metal (anti-religion seems to be the main focus), the band has moved away from the over-the-top style found in older songs like Biblewhore or God Gives Head In Heaven. Dahlström manages to deliver his lyrics with a growl that is as deep as it is intelligible; a rare, yet welcome combination in death metal.

As for the musicians…I’m not exactly sure if it was the weak production of the first album, but they seemed to have improved tremendously this time around. Drummer Nils Fjellström wields his sticks and bass pedals with a great sense of timing and groove, shifting from straight up blastbeats, to slow lurching rhythms, to straightforward headbanging beats throughout the album. Combine that with the restless, technically heavy riffage of guitarists Daniel Dlimi and Zeb Nilsson, and almost every song has something worthwhile to offer for every death metal fan. Caressed By The Holy Man is a great track , exemplifying all the strengths of the band in one song. Spreading Their Disease is another hit, for it posses a tremendous riff in the verse, and a catchy tremolo-laden chorus. Every song has strong parts, some a little more than others, with the only real weak track lying in the momentum-killer You Pray To Nothing. It’s way too slow of a track to remain as interesting as the other speed-fests. I can somewhat understand placing it in the middle of the album, but instead of giving the listener a breather, it just ends up making most death metal fans reach for the skip button, so they can be treated to some of the brutal riffage and quirky solos found in songs like Living Sin and Godless. Speaking of Godless, the synthetic speech during the chorus, combined with the very Azagthothian style of riffing made me think of Morbid Angel’s Where the Slime Live. Another extremely similar-sounding track is the album’s closer: No One Escapes Us. Call me deaf, but it bears an uncanny resemblance to Hatework, another creation of Morbid Angel's. To Aeon’s credit, they manage to imitate the death metal forefathers well, and don’t plagiarize as much as they flatter Tampa’s best band.

With all the talk of Behemoth, Immolation, Mithras, Vital Remains, Nile and others throwing down above-average death metal albums this year, some may be wondering whether another disc full of a bunch of hyper angry men growling and churning away on their instruments is really a necessary addition to their collection. While I wouldn’t exactly call this a “necessary” release for death metal fans, it sure manages to hit the spot all extreme metal fans have. It’s fast as hell, too technical for 90% of the musicians out there, and intimidating enough to make all your friends and loved ones unfamiliar with death metal quickly reach for their ears and question why they decided to put up with you in the first place. Most importantly, I feel like it has more substance than it’s predecessor, and will remain in your player for more than just a few hours of headbanging glory.
Killing Songs :
All except for You Pray To Nothing.
Dylan quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Aeon that we have reviewed:
Aeon - Aeons Black reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
Aeon - Path Of Fire reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
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