Sons of Aeon is a sort of death metal supergroup, born from active parts of Ghost Brigade, Swallow the Sun and a couple others. In pre-release press, the band says all the right things, talking about the influence of death metal pioneers like Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death. The band goes on to describe their aversion for albums put through the production wringer, talking wistfully about the days when drums were played by a human being and not re-tracked by heartless machinery. Most poignantly, Sons of Aeon makes reference to the necessity of bands recording together in a room, not merely soloing in a cold, vacuous studio alone.
We at this site wholeheartedly agree with Sons of Aeon’s sentiment and assessment, so it was with optimism that I approached their new self-titled album.
Oddly enough, this is a technically proficient album that ends up without any particular character. Afte two complete passes, I could only find a small sample of notable hooks, like the gripping on at the beginning of “Enemy of the Souls.” Groove is an essential part of the death metal experience, as it allows the listener to mentally decode and organize the volume of noise into enjoyable music. So when Sons of Aeon finds a riff, it’s a welcome addition. I suppose there’s an argument to be made that his is the nature of “pure” death metal; chaotic, covered in meaty grime and unmolested by the influence of any other genre.
In any event, Sons of Aeon’s work is a stream of music that never comes to rest to allow you to get on. That doesn’t mean it’s some kind of roiling, turbulent death metal whitewater. No, it is rather a slow but constant churn of similar sounds with little interruption. Really, the artistic contrast of “The Centre” is perhaps the only piece that really allows for a breather, and it a decent track to boot, weaving some nice melody in a counterbalance to the harsh, unpolished vocals.
In trying to product an old-school, pure death metal effort, Sons of Aeon is also bound by the chains of death metal’s overbearing compendium of standards and practices. As a result, the scattered selection of promising pieces like “Wolf Eyes” get mashed together in a kaleidoscope of death metal permutations. There aren’t really many ‘bad’ sections per se; but there are an awful lot of pieces that sound the same.
This album is the product of a supergroup of modern death metal and so it sounds like so many other of those albums. While we give much respect to Sons of Aeon for their stance concerning recording and production (and I say that without patronizing them in any way,) their album is technically competent but average. Their record is a interesting labor of ambition and talent, and while enjoyable in pieces, does not transcend as a whole.