Whenever a group of seasoned musicians get together to start a new project, particularly if it is "highly anticipated" there is always that question on my mind, will it live up to the hype? Happily the debut release from Finish Melodic Death Metal five piece, 'Sons of Aeon', has more than achieved this. The band is made up Tommi Kivinemi (Ghost Brigade) Bass, Wille Naukkarinen (Ghost Brigade) guitars, Tapio Vartiainen guitars, Pasi Pasanen (ex Swallow the Sun) Drums and the vocal talents of Tony Kaikkonen (Bone 5, Code for Silence).
There are, for me, so many positive elements about this album; an excellent gelling of musicians and an album which is very varied and not predictable, as many Melodeath albums have a habit of being, with well constructed songs and topped off with excellent, brutal, harsh, yet clear vocals, something that is always high on the list of importance for me.
Article continues below...
Sons of Aeon love their extended intros and opening track 'Faceless', which is a whopper at over seven and a half minutes long, has an atmosphere building intro where the tempo gradually builds to a chugging riff and a full three minutes before the vocal screams kick in. They are worth waiting for in a seriously exciting first track.
Continuing with 'Cold Waves' and maintaining the standard set by the opening track; with great chugging riffs, harsh yet clear vocals ranging from growl to a scream and spiralling guitar work towards the latter part of the track.
'Burden,' has another extended but slower and very emotive intro before things kick up several gears and the main body of the song begins. The drum work on this track is outstanding.
The catchy repeat riff and slower emotive chorus of 'Enemy of Souls' make it possibly my favourite track. But with the level of quality and listen-ability so high across the album, it is difficult to chose a definite favourite.
'The Centre' is yet another great track. It starts with a slower tempo intro and spoken lyrics before the main body of vocals kick in. The beautiful emotive guitar work and is complemented by drums which are good throughout the album but are noticeably effective on this track.
The catchy fast riffs along with varied changes in tempo and direction on 'Havoc Catharsis' kept my mind fully engaged on this well constructed track.
Although it has a slow opener, on 'Weakness' the tempo picks up with more rapidity than the other tracks and then the slower element of the second half make it both an excellent and highly emotive track with some stunning vocal screams.
A galloping repeat guitar riff forms the basis of 'Seeds of Destruction' and classic Melodeath riffs combined with a moody guitar chorus topped with magnificent screams in the final minute on 'Wolf Eyes' take you to the final track, the instrumental 'Black Sheep Process'. This track had me wondering for some time, given the bands penchant for extended intros, whether this was a slow building, extended intro or an instrumental, but I have no doubts it's definitely an excellent end to an excellent album.
I was prepared to be disappointed with this album but I was certainly not. There is no denying this is a first rate album and one that raises the bar on the standard for future Melodic Death Metal compositions with an excellent level of musicianship throughout. I absolutely love it and if you are a Melodeath fan, so will you.
The CD /Digi download is out now and it will be available on vinyl from March 11th on Lifeforce Records.