AEONS CONFER – Zero Elysium
February 13, 2020, 5 months ago
Germany’s Aeons Confer descend into space and time with their second full-length Zero Elysium. It’s hard to pin down the sounds of these pesky Germans as they contract a punishing black/death metal sound with a symphonic aesthetic, but also induce industrial and at times a nu-metal rhythm. The overall lack of consistency detracts from the listening experience, but there’s enough to offer a grim smirk from the blackest of metal fans.
“Impactors” makes an immediate impact after the spacey intro – complete with aggressive riffing with a nice and not too complicated symphonic touch. Vocalist Bernhard comes in with a striking vocal performance, utilizing growls and a clean voice reminiscent of Matt Barlow. His cleans come in a desperate pace and provides a healthy balance with his guttural bellows. Musically, Aeons at times amazes and frustrates as tracks like “Wise Deflector” come in with pure aggression and is painted with great leads and I love how “Nemesis” roars in with a furious pace, but then it becomes bogged down with an unneeded industrial rhythm section. “Plasmoid” and “Confront The Sum” are blanketed with mechanical riffing and have the Fear Factory quality to them, while “Repulse” is the most epic of the affairs with striking symphonics then enveloped by quality guitar and drum parts. The vocal effort is also astounding on this track. Just when ya think that maybe there’s an understanding of what these guys are about, “Zero Elysium” hops off with an electronica vibe, setting the scene for a futuristic, sci-fi tone and muffled vocals, which then blossoms into a synth-backed rocker, but for some reason takes another unneeded breakdown.
I’m all for taking chances musically and not just settling onto one certain sound and I give credit to these guys for showcasing different soundscapes, but Zero Elysium is at its best when sticking with aggression and fast-tempos. I dig the spacey, sci-fi element of their tracks and overall I'd like to see more consistency within their song structures. There’s a lot of talent on display here and I’d be curious what they’d come up with on their next offering.