Tech Death Week continues with a new album from an old favorite of mine, the Australian band Aeon of Horus. Existence is only their second full length album, even though they've been active since 2006. The first impression the new album left on me wasn't particularly good: it sounded kinda muddy and same-y and rather uninspired. I was a bit bummed out, but I decided to keep going and gave it a few more listens, hoping it would click along the way.
However, my initial thoughts haven't swayed much in the album's favor. I must give credit where it's due: the guys are obviously highly proficient with their instruments. The playing is tight across the board and the highlights are all the little futuristic synths and keyboards that pop up in the background. You must pay really close attention to hear them, but once you do, you realize just how big of an effect they have on the sci-fi atmosphere of Existence. The guitarist also has a knack for punctuating his playing with enough melody and variation to break through the monotony that otherwise plagues most of this album.
He can't save an entire album single handedly, unfortunately. Like I said in the beginning, the songs tend to sound very similar, which I think might be due to the unfortunate mixing which puts the interesting melodic riffs and futuristic synths in the background while making sure the drums (the drummer is very competent, but the kit sounds flat and lacks the power to really propel the music forward) and vocals (which are, simply put, boring, with very little variation from standard, run-of-the-mill growling) are right in your face. I feel like the most exciting parts of this album have been ignored by accident and the band has put their capital on elements that fail to help them distinguish from the mass of death metal bands across the world. The lyrics are pretty cool, though.
Forever cycled through the absolute zero
Warping, twisted through the mental fabrication
Stemming from star fused active biochemistry
....then spiral, centre, radiate
This new state of matter... its conscience
While its intentions are good, listening to the entirety of Existence becomes tedious, with memorable moments being few and far between. You're better off listening to early Aeon of Horus, like a true IMN.
- Some interesting guitar work
- Cool futuristic synths (if you listen very closely)
- Horrible cover art; where are the robots and aliens??
- Lacks variety and exciting moments
- Uninspired vocals
- Flat mixing, conveying no sense of power and motion
- "i liked the demo better"