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Aenaon - Extance Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 12 December 2013, 2:48 PM

I for one am always on the lookout for diversity in a metal band; an extra icing on a metallic cake. Greek Black Metal band take a highly progressive approach to Scandinavian-inspired Black Metal by incorporating arrangements and instruments not normally found in the genre, much like Norwegian kings BORKNAGAR. In fact, some guitar solos are replaced by saxophone solos, which also, the odd time, shares a moment with the bass. We can't go wrong with blackened Jazz, now, can we?

The experimental intro opens up into "Deathtrip Chronicle", honoring NAGLFAR in its sound; in fact, it sounds like something straight off their "Sheol" release. This churning and driving track incorporates wailing, bleak guitar melodies with chanted choral vocals, with traditional Black Metal elements. Even by half way through it is beginning to play much like an EMPEROR track. On a total flipside is "Grau Diva", where a driving, mid-tempo pulse is incredibly reminiscent of SATYRICON. However, it still manages to incorporate its fair share of unusual ambience and melodic arrangements. Almost unheard of on a Black Metal record, in addition, is a guitar solo; rather technically and masterfully performed at that. "Der Mude Tod" is definitely one of the more conventionally Black Metal tracks on this album, and is deathly and grim throughout. The perfect blend of blast beats and tremolo guitars never fail to evoke such an atmosphere; the track only gets faster and more brutal as it progresses… Until we arrive at an exotic passage dominated by an ethnic rhythm section and a saxophone melody, which grows into a 'solo'; inexplicably weird, yet effective.

"Closer to Scaffold" is proof again of the diversity that this band is capable of within what is, ordinarily, a somewhat restrictive genre; it leans closer towards Melodic Death Metal, with a greater guitar melody presence, and a more defined focus on chugged guitars, as opposed to fast tremolo riffs. Perhaps the most important track on this record, and also my favorite, is the near-13-minute monster, "Palindrome". This is an example of progressive extreme Metal at its finest. A powerful build up explodes into a gorgeously-whiney guitar solo, and there is a much greater presence of pained clean vocals. The individual passages within this track sound even more intelligently arranged than in previous tracks, and the extent of each of the members' musicianship is much more fully explored, focusing on technicality and diversity than speed and heaviness.

As a person with tastes deep in a progressive and power metal background, it is often (unfortunately) difficult for me to get into Black Metal music, whose wall of sound an inaccessibility often does not outweigh the usually-deliberate lack of technical expression. However, with a band like AENAON one can expect the best of both worlds.

4 Star Rating

1. The First Art
2. Deathtrip Chronicle
3. Grau Diva
4. A Treatise on the Madness of God
5. Der Mude Tod
6. Pornocrates
7. Closer to Scaffold
8. Land of no Water
9. Algernon's Decadence
10. Funeral Blues
11. Palindrome
Astrous - Vocals
Achilleas C. - Guitars
Anax (J.M.) - Guitars
Thyragon – Guitars
Nycriz – Drums
Record Label: Code666 Records


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