After a promising start by releasing their debut album on the brutal label, Unique Leader, this no frills Swedish death metal band released their first major label album with Rise to Dominate – a stagnant and predictable album on Metal Blade Records. Like their fellow countrymen in DEFLESHED, a band that wants nothing to do with the Swedish Gothenburg sound, AEON’s goal is to sound like their U.S. death metal counterparts instead.
Immediately, AEON takes no prisoners with “Forgiveness Denied,” with CANNIBAL CORPSE as a huge and obvious influence in the song structure and drumming. Once again, AEON continues to hammer the same old, and somewhat cheesy anti-Christian lyrics, along with very average death metal vocals. This time around however, the musicianship has vastly improved, with a few nice guitar licks and more intense drumming being displayed. With a few SUFFOCATION mosh riffs and quick NECROPHAGIST style arpeggios thrown in, “Kill Them All” and “Inheritance” says that while the band can be seen as a one trick pony, they are at least improving at their craft.
“Total Kristus Inversus” is an acoustic interlude with a Middle Eastern vibe, which breaks up the monotony of all the brutality, and actually fits nicely as a precursor to “Of Fire.” As one of the best tracks on the album, “Of Fire,” provides an intense mix of keyboards in the background meshing with fast footwork and double bass, which as a result, sounds very MORBID ANGEL influenced. If the listener wasn’t aware of what album they were listening to, “I Will Burn” and “Suffer The Soul” could be mistaken as CANNIBAL CORPSE tracks, as the low/high vocals replicates Corpsegrinder’s style mixed with the pinch harmonics as perfected by CANNIBAL axeman Pat O’Brien. “Liar in the Name of God” has a solo that NECROPHAGIST would be proud of, and chugs along towards the end. “God of War” rounds out the decent but bland disc, with a movie-like soundtrack sequence, similar to EX-DEO samples.
With AEON, no gimmicks are involved, as it’s no secret that these guys love CANNIBAL CORPSE, and like their heroes, AEON is no nonsense, straight forward death metal. Their song titles and lyrics can be juvenile at times, but Path of Fire shows maturity and better songwriting. While there is huge potential for this upcoming band, whether they evolve or release the same albums determines to be seen. (Metal Blade Records)