Released: 2007, Metal Blade
Aeon hail from the frozen wastes of Ostersund, Sweden and they spread the disease of brutal filthy death metal to the slavering hordes with their second chunk of heaving croaking gore, RISE TO DOMINATE. Sorry for the uncharacteristic hyperbole, but firstly Aeon do deserve it, and secondly, their over-the-top absurd style of death metal really demands a little exaggeration and hyperbole.
I’d describe RISE TO DOMINATE as remarkably carefree, even by death metal standards. There is no feeling of being restricted, and it seems at times even the musical demands of basic rhythm and a common tempo are dispensed with. This is obviously not the case of course, as Aeon play with a technicality that is on par and even slightly above their death metal counterparts today. What I mean to say is that the music sounds impetuous, spontaneous and extremely uplifting in a perverse sort of way.
Part of this may have to do with the lyrics, and indirectly the vocal delivery of singer Tommy Dahlstrom. He doesn’t have the rib rattling percussive bark of TOMB-era Chris Barnes nor the limitless roar of Corpsegrinder Fisher. In fact he’s not a very powerful singer at all. But he is remarkably lucid, and I can make out most of what he is saying without resort to the lyric sheet. The lyrics themselves are extremely anti-Christian, extremely unsubtle, and as a result, extremely funny. Consider a line like “Children hear the bell sound/Gather inside the bible house/Blessed by/Fucked by Christ”. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it juvenile, but it certainly doesn’t have the poetic ring of political Nevermore does it? A more tongue-in-cheek Deicide perhaps, or imagine Cannibal Corpse where the subject matter of ripped cunts and raped dead bodies is replaced with anti-church rantings.
Whatever their lyrical content, it adds to the wholeness of what I think is a very good death metal record. The guitar attack of Daniel Dlimi and Zeb Nilsson have the chops and riffs of 8 guitarists, and they combine speed, technicality and complexity with a heavy guitar tone that manages to crush balls when riffing and provoke ear bleeds when doing leads and pinch harmonics. Recently departed drummer Nils Fjellstrom (who left because of the time demands of his other band Dark Funeral) brings the backbone to the entire record, but as you’d expect from a drummer his calibre, he’s not going to be playing the 1-2-3-4 schtick. No, riffs, rolls, and blast beats abound, almost all that you’d expect from a death metal drummer. The band has definitely done their Tampa and New York death metal homework. A slight downer has to be the last song “No One Escapes Us”, which is a slow, plodding and unexciting number that is really not in keeping with the tone of the rest of the album.
All in all, I think this is a very good album, and fans of modern death metal will find nothing to complain about. Perhaps more maturity in the lyrical department will go down better, but if like me you’re not too hung up on the lyrics, there is enough in the music for me to recommend you check them out.