Personnel: Tommy Dahlström (vocals); Zeb Nilsson, Daniel Dlimi (guitar); Arttu Malkki (drums).
Audio Mixer: Ronnie Björnström.
Recording information: Empire Studio, Östersund, Sweden (06/2012).
Photographer: Fredrik Kallgren Wallin.
In a world of infinite musical permutations, crossbreeding, and experimentation, it's sometimes refreshing to stumble on a group happy to focus on the fundamental ingredients of a universally beloved (and reviled, sure) musical genre such as death metal. As the saying goes, why fix something if it ain't broke to begin with, right? Not that there's anything remotely "happy," never mind "lovely," about Aeon's fourth volume of punishing, blood-curdling, Christ-baiting death metal, 2012's devastating Aeons Black. No, very much like all of its predecessors, this album traffics in high-intensity and often high-velocity percussive battery, staccato guitar sludge, and those ever-present Cookie Monster roars, with a few pinch harmonics punctuating this and that song (e.g., "Garden of Sin," "Dead Means Dead," "Blessed by the Priest"), a rare concession to alien extreme metal interests. These characteristics don't mean that the album does entirely without well-timed melodic swerves (see "The Glowing Hate," "Nothing Left to Destroy," etc.) and even temporal softer dynamics ("The Voice of the Accuser," "Passage to Hell," and that's, errrr, about it), but Aeon clearly aren't tempted to get cute or betray their purist hearts. Naturally, everyone's favorite martyr, J.C., comes in for an inordinate amount of verbal abuse from start to finish; catching a short break during "Neptune the Mystic" only to get called out by name on "I Wish You Death" and, among many others, the title track, which demands "Where's your savior? Where's your God?" Not listening to Aeons Black, that's for sure, but so long as you suffer no such religious qualms and like your death metal traditional, technical, and brutal, perhaps you should. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia