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Aenaon - Hypnosophy Award winner

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 26 December 2016, 10:02 AM

AENAON’s “Hypnosophy” is the most impressive Black Metal album I’ve heard in years.  The band combines an abrasive and exciting Black Metal sound with out of this world progressive elements.  Their sound is fresh, exciting, and there isn’t one dull moment across this album.  The grim vocals, provided by Astrous remind me of VINTERSORG; they are full of energy and twist and turns.  He might be doing a blackened howl one second and then an amazing semi falsetto prog voice the next.  Even if the music wasn’t amazing (and it is), his vocals alone would be enough to warrant a purchase.

The Prog parts come largely in the form of ORESTIS ZYRINIS, their saxophone player.  What? Did you read that right?  A saxophone player in a Black Metal band?  Hell yes you read it right.  The smooth sounds of the woodwind instrument blends in seemingly with the bands heavy sound.  It could easily overpower the band but instead it adds to it, giving it a new dimension that most Black Metal bands can only dream of.  “In Fire Walk With Me” the sax acts as more of a guitar, providing what amounts to riffs to propel the song in the beginning.  The band works best when the guitars and the sax work in unison, such as on “Earth Tomb,” providing a tri-threat of musicianship. On top of all that, the song is catchy as hell, providing a rare moment in the black metal genre where you can sing along and still feel tru and kvlt.

Void”, with its light guitar beginning, jazzy sax, and well done female vocals, feels like a swing jazz song of sorts; you might even be able to slow dance to this.  But the pounding bass and intricate drum work keeps the metal flowing behind the song. Around the two and half minute mark, the guitars kick in and gives us almost DREAM THEATER like prog riffs.  Speaking of the guitars, Achillaes C. and Anax really know their craft.  Progressive chords, slow brooding riffs, fast Black Metal blasts, the guys can play it all but it never feels like they are showing it off.  Rather than go all out with their prog power and just guitar masturbate, they play what they need to when they need to.

The bassist provides interesting double bass for the album.  It allows him to create bouncing, hardened bass riffs a la Steve Harris while also providing an Proggy, almost dreamlike, sound underneath.  To say the bass is interesting would be in understatement and is one of the highlights from the album that is already full of them and something the genre could use more of.  Nycriz, their drummer, is equally amazing. The jazzy swells from him on “Thus Ocean Swell” cascade over you and float you to the other side of the song, which is a prog fans wet dream with all the instruments coming together.  Nycriz’s drummers provide the back bone here, his hands and feet working to create a sonic soundscape of metal drumming. ANY fan of Prog or Black metal that steps outside the box should enjoy this one.  There have been a lot of good Black Metal releases this year but this one sits at the top of the blackened throne.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Oneirodynia
2. Fire Walk With Me
3. Earth Tomb
4. Void
5. Tunnel
6. Thus Ocean Swells
7. Phronesis – Pshychomagic
Astrous - vocals
Achilleas C. - guitars
Anax (J.M) - guitars
Orestis Z. - saxophone
Nycriz - drums
Record Label: Aural Music


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