Aeons - A Tragic End
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
A Tragic End (album)
"Following no rules, no formulas and no set mold for what it should be this album takes on many forms. This only consistent thing is that this is Aeons".
Aeons are a heavy, progressive metal band from the Isle of Man. They specialise in brutally technical riffs, low down dirty growls and ambient soundscapes that blur the lines between what's beautiful and what's ugly.
An excerpt from the 1979 film 'Dracula' ushers in a dark scene coupled with a snappy yet brutally technical riff. A crushingly quick double kick piques that want for destruction inside all of us and preps you for 'Skippy's huge and dark growls. A melodic high pitched guitar floats above the crushing mix creating a wall of raw and destructive power. A remarkably catchy chorus ensues and sets a precedent for what is to come... Dark and harsh tones that clash with melodic and beautiful song writing. This is going to be a hell of a ride.
This 8 minute behemoth begins with a building cascade of piano and strings that rises and falls to an eventually brutal verse that was born for one sole purpose... to pulverise all in its path. The line that sticks out in this passage is "I feel like I'm drowning in my own skin". This echoes Aeons writing style that to me is angsty yet extremely driven. A great chorus is sung and harmonised to absolute perfection. The way the vocals flit between clean and intensely distorted growls is beyond impressive and bemusing to me. Equally impressive guitar work follows the chorus in the form of ever-changing and chuggy riffage. I could go on and on but this is for sure my favourite song on this album. The way it dynamically changes through is a work of art.
A lonely acoustic guitar breakes the silence on this song shortly followed by pointed yet clean vocals. Rinse and repeat the same till you find yourself at a heavy interlude around the 3 and a half minute mark. Melodic and sharp harmonised guitars stab through the low end, heavy and muddy sounding rhythm guitar. Punch through some more rhythmic devastation and you'll find yourself amongst a harmonised guitar solo that feels like a modern 2nd cousin to that harmonised solo in Master of Puppets... you know the one I mean! The levels drop right down just to launch right back to envelop you in heavy goodness.
A Tragic End
Enter this track via a Chicago emergency room. A descending and doomy guitar lick drives you down into the ground where you shall remain for the next 11 minutes. An extended instrumental intro propels you into a verse. The progression slides around perfectly with the vocal melody in a very pleasing way (I didn't make that weird, you did). A chuggy riff sits beneath the crushing vocals and dissonant distorted stabs frantically push you along to a clean section. This is where Aeons do what I believe Aeons do best. Lyrics that are deep and meaningful, delivered with purpose are backed up by brilliantly thought out vocal harmonies. While the above continues the instrumentation build and builds pushing you along. More riffage ensues (what is prog again?) Before it is interrupted with a disjointed and uncomfortable clean guitar riff that feels a lot more at home when it's heavied up and surrounded by the band for context. I keep using the word 'purpose' and that is because this is an extremely well thought out song.
The closest thing to popy or mainstream metal you will find on this album lives within this song. The opening guitar line that is echoed through various different means really stands up and makes you miss it once its gone. A free flowing verse carries you on through to the heavier section. Harmonised takes on the line "I am not afraid" exudes a message of defiance. It's hard to find the main hook of this song as it all feels so familiar the next time round, a great example of quality songwriting. That upbeat guitar riff returns for one last dalliance and morphs into an anthemic shreik that a packed out village tent in Donnington Park needs to hear whenever Aeons begin climbing the ladder at Download Festival... It won't be long till you see them there, I'm sure!
The intro to Strange Aeons really encompasses what Aeons is all about. Technicality, brutality and attention grabbing precision. If you want to make a mosh pit happen then play this song on full volume and the metal heads will come. A heavy banger through and through, at least to begin with. Around the 1:50 mark the song mellows out into a spacey and airy place followed by a gorgeous guitar solo. This pattern repeats again till you are met with a beautifully performed, harmony laden vocal wall of sound. A heavy section moves you quickly out the door.
Ambient and airy clean tones are coupled with a sweet bass and tight drums. The vocal once again soars above the mix. A heavy section kicks in emphasising Aeons tendency to play with dynamics and contrast as a child plays with Lego. Rinse and repeat.
Ushered in via a spoken work 'Vengeance' takes on a defiant and revolutionary tone before cascading into a heavy cataclysm of dirty riffs. Shifting between blistering riffs we find a truly melodic hook that grabs you before casting you out once more from whence you came. Vengeance closes out this mammoth of an album with a steadfast grit and purpose.
Look, if you like heavy music... Deathcore, Melodic-crab-porno grind or whatever we section we put ourselves into you deserve to hear this album. In all seriousness I would pidgeon hole Aeons as Progressive-Technical metal. A Tragic End is a both credit and f*cked up love note to the metal genre. Following no rules, no formulas and no set mold for what it should be this album takes on many forms. This only consistent thing is that this is Aeons.
If you like...
If you like the technicality of Architects, the heavy vocals of Parkway Drive and the limitless yet brilliant songwriting style of Porcupine Tree then you will be a fan album.
Click here to go to the AEONS website : https://aeons.online
Or here for their Bandcamp