ALBUM REVIEW: Aeon Aphelion

AEON APHELION

AEON APHELION

AEON APHELION
‘Visions Of Burning Aeons’
Self-released, October 2013
8/10

Aeon Aphelion’s debut full-length release is a classy package of seven tight, traditional Doom Metal songs. Formed in 2005, the band derives from obscure 1990’s outfit Dreamscape, but it was only in 2009, with the introduction of new guitarist Alex Koutsis (who became the singer in 2010) that Aeon Aphelion began to find their true voice.

Koutsis’s vocal style is reminiscent of ‘Clouds’-era Tiamat, or Ola Persson from the now-defunct Averon, or even Cathedral’s Lee Dorrian – coarse, wheezing, depressed and yet strangely beautiful and capable of delivering a broad emotional range! Further underscoring Koutsis’s impact on the band, he also had a hand in the album’s production, which is clean and dynamic, showcasing the band’s considerable skills very effectively.

Having hacked off their early death-doom roots, the Greek band’s sound is now firmly planted in the genre’s purest traditions. This is a timeless doom opus that would not feel out of place had it been unleashed in 1993 or 2013. But far from being old-fashioned or predictable, the music has great character and personality within its self-imposed confines. The riffs are fresh and original and lively song arrangements maintain your interest from start to finish. This is not the heaviest metal around, but it is slow, mean and packed with a depth of inventiveness.

‘Visions Of Burning Aeons’ pounds along at a muscular mid-tempo, occasionally slowing down for an introspective breather or setting off on a slightly stoner-tinged or full-on metal section that will get your feet start tapping and your head nodding. It all fits together so naturally that before you know it, you’ll be hooked. 

While some of the songs could benefit from a catchier chorus, or a more spectacular guitar solo to raise the hairs on your neck – like the all-too-brief solo on ‘(Dona Eis) Requiem’ – there is a wealth of really impressive stuff on offer that is revealed with repeat listens. In fact, it seems that the band have so many ideas to play with that they sometimes hurry past one or two of them instead of lingering and allowing them to develop into something even bigger and better. 

It has taken the Athens quartet a while to bring this album to fruition, being entirely self-financed, but it has been worth the wait and undoubtedly money very well spent. ‘Visions Of Burning Aeons’ is a consistently excellent album, a respectful and impassioned re-imagining of 1990’s Doom Metal that sounds fresh and exciting today.

Check out Aeon Aphelion here: http://aeonaphelion.bandcamp.com/

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