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Aeon Aphelion : Visions of Burning Aeons

Good news for purists: not a trace of Doom Death, Funeral, or Goth is to be found in Aeon Aphelion's second opus.

'Visions of Burning Aeons' is an album that sounds like it was born in the 90s, but not of the Peaceville 3 school. Think first-wave with a little bit more scale and with a dash of Sludge-like earthiness in the guitar sound (I was reminded of Penance). At the same time, Greeceís Aeon Aphelion clearly canít help their awareness of Doomís epic second wave, and frequently step toward that style. Early on, I thought this would make the album feel indecisive or unwhole, but 'Visions of Burning Aeons' grew on me rapidly through several listens (especially over headphones).

Good news for purists: not a trace of Doom Death, Funeral, or Goth is to be found here. 'Visions' is a changed beast compared to their prior self-titled work (an interesting outing in its own right) despite using many of the same ingredients. Guitar arrangements show attention to detail, with plenty of single-note and dual lead arrangements to balance the basic chord-strumming sequences. The songs are appreciably dynamic; sections of mountainous Metal let up to subdued bass and drum passages. This breathing of the music helps keep songs like the standout 'Ophitic Doctrine' interesting. There isnít an individual spot that jumps out and seizes my attention; no real mission-statement guitar riff or arm-raising chorus, but neither is there a bad song in the bunch. My interest is held at every point, making me want to keep listening.

Alex Koutsisís gruff but precise vocals ring somewhere between Lee Dorrianís texture and Victor Griffinís tenor. His voice is a big reason why Aeon Aphelion now comes across as a band in the first-wave mold despite album production I associate with epic Doom (clear, with reverb). Listeners who appreciate Vesa Lampi in Spiritus Mortis, or Bobby Lieblingís weirder moments, likely wonít find Koutsisís idiosyncratic tone hard to take; I got used to it pretty quickly.

The album closer 'Whitewood' is a highlight, particularly for its showcasing of Johnny Dalamagasís bass guitar. His tone is clear and distinctive without being too loud in the mix, declaring itself when appropriate to the song while remaining in a supportive role elsewhere.

The uncertainty I had during my first listen to 'Visions of Burning Aeons' evaporated upon repeat listens. While it wonít go down as one of 2013ís truly great works, it is a genuinely worthwhile and rewarding album that earns the confidence it shows.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Ravenous flames 2. Ophitic Doctrine
3. A Deaconry to Vanity
4. Oracles
5. (Dona Eis) Requiem
6. Shrine of Despair
7. Whitewood

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Aeon Aphelion bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-10-22 by Mark Rzeszutek
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