|Cover art by Necrolord|
Swedish underground death metal slayers Aeon have chosen an even more apocalyptic than usual approach with fourth full-length Aeons Black. There is a black metal-esque, cadaverous glee in the way they approach blasphemy, but trade none of their meaty death metal riffs for the hissing, reedy chill. There's also a smoky crustiness to the tone that aligns Aeon more closely with death metal in the Southern states, such as Deicide, than their Swedish death metal countrymen.
There is grandness to the scale of the songs that's new to Aeon, like the towering riffs that open "The Glowing Hate," giving Aeons Black a dark majesty. Vocalist Tommy Dahlström puts in a particularly fine performance, his lyrical delivery at once bestial and perfectly articulate. Aeon rely on superior songwriting (such as on the stunning "Garden of Sin") rather than brute strength to set themselves apart from their peers, and have carved out a successful niche for themselves as intelligent monsters.