Monday, June 14, 2010

Aeon: Path of Fire (2010)

Aeon is a Swedish technical death metal band currently signed to Metal Blade. I hadn't picked up any tech-death so far this year, and I was starving for some when I picked up their latest, Path of Fire.

The first thing you might notice is they play very precise, very heavy, and very brutal riffs--all the elements of technical death metal. Most of it is high-speed staccato brutality, but there are steamcrusher riffs in there to mix it up. It definitely will not put anyone to sleep.

The second thing you might notice, though, is its unoriginality. They sound a lot like Nile. If you don't hear it immediately, wait until the Middle Eastern/Egyptian inspired acoustic interlude "Total Kristus Inversus", and the followup track "Of Fire". This is not to say that sounding like Nile is a bad thing, as they are one of the best tech-death outfits around.

The third thing you might notice is weak lyrics. From what I can make out, he seems to be saying he's not a Christian, and nobody can make him one. First off, that's really damn weak for death metal. But more importantly, it's tired and over-done. Why can't you go for space alien conspiracies or something else unexpected? If you're going to do something that's been done to death, at least have the decency to go with good old blood-and-guts, a much more appropriate death metal topic.

OK, don't take the criticisms too far. It's good music nearly the whole way through. Some of it's forgettable, but standouts include "Kill Them All", "Abomination to God", and especially "Suffer the Soul".

The Verdict: This is very solid tech-death from some very capable musicians, with a few real great tracks in it. But since they sound a lot like a much better band, you may want to pick up Nile's entire back catalog first. Still, as I said, it's solid, so I give it 3 out of 5 stars.


  1. I enjoyed Aeon's last album and have kicked around the idea of getting this one.

    If you would like to look into some better technical death metal, one of my favorites is Australian band Psycroptic. Origin, Decrepit Birth, and Obscura are other good bands from the genre, all three of which are expected to release new albums this year. Brain Drill also recently released a new album.

  2. The tech-death bands I like best are Cynic, Decapitated, The Faceless, Meshuggah (if they can be qualified as such), Necrophagist, Nile, Origin, and Suffocation. Of those, Cynic released an EP (which I haven't been able to get yet), and Necrophagist may or may not finally release their third album in, like, December. So I definitely appreciate the input. My usual source doesn't show Origin as having an upcoming release, so I'll have to keep an eye on that.

    I have now added Decrepit Birth (new album in July) and Obscura (new album possibly at the beginning of next year) to my radar, though Obscura may drop off my radar by then.

    Brain Drill is a little more deathgrind, I think, but good stuff nonetheless.

    I will be getting Psycroptic's latest (not the live album) on your recommendation. Thanks!