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Aeon Arcanum : Monuments

Albeit only remotely connected to Doom, Aeon Arcanum's debut is recommended to any fan of intense, atmospheric Extreme Metal.

Macedonia is certainly not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of talented Metal bands. But from now on, the very promising new band Aeon Arcanum might make you keep that country in mind. Frankly, their debut album Monuments is only remotely connected to Doom, but its menacing atmosphere and overall intensity still make it worthwhile for fans of the more extreme branches of Doom or Metal in general.

The opening track “Dysphoria” is in fact a typical and very good Death Doom track complete with excellent melodic lead guitar lines, crushing riffs and a strong atmosphere. An Ambient-like passage and some nice acoustic guitar picking lead over to the next track, and then – it seems – we get the obligatory blastbeat outburst which is so characteristic of old-school Death Doom. As it turns out, however, this is basically what the rest of the album will sound like.

There is a lot of blasting and other faster drum playing of high quality going on. Stylistically, the music tends to switch between Black and Melodic Death Metal with some grim, more traditional Death Metal riffs here and there. Luckily, the doomy atmosphere and great guitar melodies of the first track remain. In some places, the music has a very epic feel to it, reminiscent of the faster moments of The Prophecy. At other moments, the listener is blown away by such an insane frenzy of blasting and catchy Black Metal riffing that even the mighty Emperor come to mind! Some depth is added by the occasional use of subtle, somewhat psychedelic synth/guitar effects (it is hard to tell the two apart sometimes) and very few acoustic guitars, adding a slightly experimental dimension to the band’s style and distinguishing the tracks from each other. The only element which falls short of the overall quality are the vocals; albeit not bad, the homogeneous growling lacks the intensity and diversity to sufficiently support the potential of the music, especially in the more Black Metal oriented parts.

All these elements are brought together by efficient, thought-out and organic songwriting. The riffs seem to follow naturally from each other despite the different influences they draw from. Clever changes in rhythm keep things interesting all the time, and there is always something new going on – you will hardly find any dull passages on this album which compromise the overall intensity. Of course, not all of the songs and arrangements are equally perfect and intense, but for a debut, Monuments is still an impressive piece of work which makes you hungry for more – and this comes from someone who is not easily excited about faster Metal.

One thing is clear: This album is neither for “True Doom” purists nor for those doomsters who prefer the more laid-back, romantic sound of bands such as Saturnus. But it is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys intense, emotional Metal with atmospheric elements – Doom or not.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Dysphoria
2. Morbid Incarnation
3. Mind’s Eclipse
4. Lurid Luminance
5. Alteration of Insanity
6. Cosmic Solitude
7. Entreaty

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Aeon Arcanum bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-11-14 by Dominik Sonders
Aesthetic Death
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