Released: 2004, Black Lotus Records
When I heard Altered Aeon had previous members of Theory in Practice, I put DISPIRITISM at the top of my wishlist! Altered Aeon started out under the moniker Thrawn when drummer Henrik Ohlsson (Mutant, Theory in Practice) and singer Kjell Andersson (Azotic Reign) originally got together in 2001. While busy with other band duties, Thrawn was put on the back burner.
In February 2003, after renaming themselves Altered Aeon, the band entered the Black Lounge Studio, and recorded their 4-song demo called "Light Creates Shadow," with Ohlsson doing drums, bass and rhythm guitars (talented isn't he!), Niklas Rehn on rhythm guitar and Andersson doing all of the vocals. They later recruited Per Nilsson for the lead guitar duties and completed the demo. In 2003, Altered Aeon solidified its lineup with Nilsson joining full time and Anders Hedlund (ex. Theory In Practice session bassist) settling in on bass.
Described as "Occult Thrash Metal", Altered Aeon play some amazing thrash! Not your typical Swedish thrash band nor suffering from "At The Gates syndrome," the music on DISPIRITISM is highly technical without overdoing it. You can hear remnants of Theory in Practice (if you haven't heard the band, stop what you are doing and buy an album immediately!) in DISPIRITISM. Their guitar riffs are very well thought out and flow together like clockwork. Nilsson's solo's send shivers down my spine and with so much "feel" in his playing, he is another one of those super human Swedes! You can hear all of the awesome solo work throughout DISPIRITISM, as there is at least one solo in every song. “Cellular Disorganization,” an instrumental bonus track, is a change of pace and a very good reminder that these guys aren't just "balls to the wall" thrashers. This song is basically a three minute solo showcase with an excellent "deep" intense feel. There is also a King Diamond cover on here.
DISPIRITISM is chock full o' metal and should not disappoint the thrashers out there. From the first song, "Dispirited Chambers", all the way through to "Transcendence Duology", Altered Aeon pound your skull with nothing but metal madness. For all of you metal drummers, Henrik Ohlsson's work is quite good here (take a few lessons from him…we need more drummers like him out there!). Kjell Andersson's vocals are stunning on DISPIRITISM and a perfect fit for Altered Aeon. With more than just a one-dimensional scream (though he has a good one), Andersson has a great metal yell, yet can singer higher, as well (check out “Behind The Lodge Door”).
Lately I have been quite sick of Swedish thrash bands, all sounding very similar and ripping off the originals. Altered Aeon gives hope to Swedish thrash and shows us how true professionals do things. If you like well-thought-out, technical yet catchy, fast-paced metal, pick up DISPIRITISM.
KILLER KUTS: Whole Album!