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Aeons Abyss - Terror Manifest

Aeons Abyss
Terror Manifest
by Tommy Mulhern at 10 January 2022, 9:05 PM

We all have our top twenty favourite albums. It changes from year to year, of course, but the majority remain the same. In my list there is only one band that have two on list and that’s AKERCOCKE with Goat of Mendes and Choronzon. Their shape-shifting experimentation, atmosphere and technicality encapsulated all that metal is for me and broadened my tastes for the better for sure. But somewhere along the way even these maestros lost the perfect formula of genre bending and boundary blending to the point of being a hard listen on their last album. It is a very fine line but AEONS ABYSS, a band with the penchant for taking risks themselves, thankfully tread on the right side of it for this, their latest release Terror Manifest.

Formed in Melbourne in 2017 by friends Paul O’Brien and Steven O’Brien AEONS ABYSS can trace it’s origins to bands that the duo were in together back in high school. But since their official launch as this band they have firmly established themselves with a very strong debut album Impenitent’ the EP Pity Elonquence and the single "Prelude to Terror". But on Terror Manifest the band seem to have honed in on an era rather than a specific genre and I think that is the Death and Doom metal coming out of Britain in the early 1990s. There’s the very obvious influence of the heavy side of MY DYING BRIDE in the riffs and in the vocals (even though Paul is a little more blackened at times than Stainthorpe, there is a spoken word part in "The Fool" that could very well have been him). The next band that jump out are PARADISE LOST pre Draconian Times, the bass and lead guitar sound being almost identical to them as well as the song-writing. There are times in the faster parts that are just like CARCASS and there are more than a few nods to CATHEDRAL in the bluesy riffs and spoken part samples. Even the excellent production makes it feel like it’s from that time and fits the atmosphere of the storyline perfectly too (a very well thought out plot where a chance tarot reading leads to madness and terror). All the songs are strong, well structured and always entertaining and that includes the two instrumentals that add their own mysterious feel. "The Emperor", "The Tower" and "The Hierophant" are amongst the many highlights on here but it’s the ingenious "The Devil" that tops the pile. No doubt about it, it’s a cracking album and a great start to what is shaping up to be another big year for metal.

As I mentioned earlier, AEONS ABYSS are in that category of band that are so full of ideas and so technically proficient that they can trip over the line from sublime to the ridiculous, to unwittingly sacrifice substance for style. But the fact that I am wondering as much about their future as talking about their present should speak to my confidence in their potential after hearing Terror Manifest. A fine album this may be but we need no unscrupulous hag with a pack of cards to tell us that there is a lot more to come from these guys.

Songwriting : 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Fool
2. The Tower
3. The Magician
4. The Emperor
5. The Devil
6. The High Priestess
7. The Hierophant
8. The Hermit
9. The Ace of Staves
10. Death
11. The Hanged Man
Paul O’Brien – Vocals
Steven O’Brien – Guitars, bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 26 November 2022

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