Released: 2014, Code666
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Aenaon are a band whose name has been growing since taking root in 2005. During that time they have released a serious of EP’s (some of which are split with other bands), got signed to Code 666 records and released their debut album back in 2011. Exstance represents the band’s next stage of evolution with a complex array of song writing through their eccentric take on Black Metal.
After a brief piano led intro from ‘The First Art‘, the band get down to business with ‘Deathtrip Chronicle’ as the growls and heavy guitars erupt with some back vocals and impressive lead guitar. The deeper sounding clean vocals providing more depth with a further emphasis upon solos to carry the weightiness forward. The first of many unexpected twists, plays in the form of jazz led saxophone finding its way into the track, which works surprisingly well with the more edgier guitars and grueling vocals.
The thrash driven riffs of ‘Grua Diva’ keep the pace going with infectious riffs and well executed drum work before culminating into some serious fret board wizardry towards the end.
Personal favorite, ‘Der Mud Tod’ blasts out in full fury with thunderous drums and blood thirsty growls set to tear their way into your ears. The track transitions with clean vocals, as the drums shift into overdrive. The brass slides in effortlessly into the chaotic drum spree and doesn't feel at all out of place.
A brief moment of respite can be found the proggy interlude ‘Pornocrates’ that wouldn’t sound too dissimilar from something Pink Flloyd would pull out the bag.
Meanwhile, one of the records biggest surprise comes from the guest vocals Tania Leontou (Universe 217) on the track ‘Funeral Blues’. A track that waywardly leaks out with a jazzy undercurrent with Tania’s signature vocals remain as distinctive as ever. This being said the rest of the track had a somewhat mediocre direction when compared to the tracks found earlier. Indeed her singing was the redeemable quality in this offering.
Closing off with the 12 minute ‘Palindrome’ the distorted solos at the beginning set the bar high for an interesting ride. The clean vocals guide through with fast drums pounds and hard hitting riffs. The mid clean guitar passages help to disperse the violent onslaught with some acoustic vibrancy drifting in with a blues guitar and tribal drum beats before swooping in for one final dose of destruction with rapid fire drums and savage sounding growls.
What was interesting about this record was the sheer level of scope and ambition that has been put into this album. Everything corrodes together in so many different influences that you may not think plausible. On the one hand this does work, as they certainly don’t sound like anyone else out there but on the other certain tracks felt like mish mash of disjointed ideas that never really seemed to take off. Despite the diversity found here, there was a distinct lack of intensity as the vocals failed to deliver that ice cold chill that many bands in the genre have honed their skills on. However, if you like your music with a twist then you wont be disappointed at the avenues this record will take you down. Highly recommended listen.
Review by: Ben Spencer