Do you remember the ‘I love you / I love you not’ game? You know, the one also played with an unsuspecting flower that thus brutally meets its unseemly demise. Remember that? Good.
Because sometimes we encounter records that do exactly that. At the outset already, and we haven’t even tortured the flower yet, there seems to be no love lost (so the flower can live). Yet, one full half-hour bleeds away and this thing still roars out of our loudspeakers. And we kinda scratch our heads and ask ourselves what we’re going to do with this record. Death to the flower, I guess.
Because Aeons‘ newest piece Consequences hits us with that hot ‘n’ cold treatment that kept us wading through the tracklist. But – at the same time, always with a slight feeling of nausea in the pit of our stomachs.
Because and for the record, the RMR crew here usually shuns anything ‘core’, and rightly so. Albeit that we found some pretty remarkable pieces with that flaw nonetheless. So, never say never, one could miss that proverbial example that confirms the rule. Or at least, it will force the RMR deckhands to keep an open mind.
Now, Isle of Man’s Aeons here thrive on an abundance of Progressive Metal’s djents with tons of Deathcore’s chugging and a serious Nu Metal itch. So, in other words, we get a taste of what prog is mainly remembered for, and not in a fond way. Not because djents are bad per se. But they’ve been so atrociously overused by anything calling itself ‘prog’ in the past, even Einar Solberg gave up on them. And then, they’re adding a few fat friggin’ layers of ‘core’ and nu on top of that. So, it’s one side of extremes right here. And ‘core’ doesn’t even register as metal for most, dammit. Reason enough to switch this thing off and move on, right?
So, why is yours truly still here with an itchy writing finger? Because once Aeons are done playing tough-guy-in-the-moshpit, things lighten up a lot. It may not be where their perceived vocation lies, but – boy – once they put their minds to truly melodic prog, some new quality emerges. And suddenly, Consequences gains traction and sails into waters that big Progressive Metal bands usually occupy.
And don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the band’s thirst for freedom of expression. Also, to mix toughness with the softer more melodic and – yes – symphonic aspects, and to stir those well, does have its allure. Yet, once you hit the lighter stuff, you kinda wonder why on earth there’s not much more of that. Because, believe it or not, that’s where Aeons‘ strength lies.
That said, once the record gets into its core-ish persona, it ain’t bad either. You’ll find pretty juicy slabs of brutality in Rubicon, Hades and Persephone, or – again – Evelyn. In short, the band’s technical skills are outstanding, and this, in turn, leads to a feeling of aggressive heaviness that is well balanced. Not sure what I’m talking about? Fire up Thoughts Of A Dying Astronaut. You know, Aeons‘ idea of the tale of Major Tom. This track will tell you all about the essence of Consequences.
In the end, the record sports much of the ‘love / love you not’ metaphor. The RMR crew here indeed grudgingly admits that they took a somewhat unholy fancy to the pretty outstanding musical skills of the band. The record is generally well balanced, with a delicate selection of finely constructed harsh elements and decently flowing ambient and melodic parts.
But whilst the production is pretty pristine and the songwriting up to par, the arrangement often feels rushed. In other words, songs need time to flower and mature. So, breathlessly smashing through the tracklist like a Ferrari high on kerosene, won’t help the quality necessarily.
And way too often the record sounds like some Slipknot-ish grab into past sins of Nu and Prog. In other words, a bout of déjà-vu installed itself after a while. And we sorely missed that innovation thing, new dimensions of ideas straight out of the proverbial box.
Ultimately though, Consequences is full of pretty neat heavy music – and we enjoyed that. But the record hits a wall when heaviness starts to sorely usurp the other more complex and delicate parts.
Thus, Aeons feels like a band that is at a crossroads. Either they keep on beating the proverbial dead horse and stay in the fringes of the ‘core’ crowd, or they put their considerable skills to good use for a stellar and way more melodic Progressive Metal piece. Time to choose, it will be up to them to emerge kicking and screaming or continue to cruise the periphery of the mean underground.
In short, all choices have consequences, good or bad. Pun intended.
Record Rating: 6/10 | Label: Self-Released | Web: Official Band Site
Release Date: 10 September 2021
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