Guest review: Aeon, “Rise to Dominate” (Metal Blade)


By Etan Rosenbloom

You’d think that death-metal bands would be plumb out of novel ways to desecrate the good Lord’s name, but the Swedish quintet Aeon dig deep on their blasphemously fun second album, Rise to Dominate. Front man Tommy Dahlström would make a terrible dinner guest: Surprisingly good elocution notwithstanding, he’d spray frothy sputum all over the sauteed asparagus, and his limited range of topics (“Fuck you Jehovah go away,” “Caressed by the holy men,” “I believe in Satan and he believes in me,” etc.) might make for tiresome discourse.

If Dahlström keeps burning down the same churches, the rest of the band make the conflagration worth your attention. Drum-trigger-happy skinsman Nils Fjellström pounds the nails deeper into the cross with every thudding blastbeat; downtuned riffage from guitarists Zeb Nilsson and Daniel Dlimi gallops and snorts like Lucifer’s cavalry; Nilsson yanks a couple of prickly solos from the suffocating muck, sounding like horseradish over the rest of the band’s blood-rare churn. The evilest moments arrive on the slower-paced “You Pray to Nothing” and “There Will Be No Heaven For Me,” where Aeon take a breather from the light-speed chugging and let bassist Max Carlberg blow out the bottom end.

Aeon’s riffs possess a visceral chunkiness that the death-metal faithful might call catchy. While that distinguishes them from fellow excommunicates Deicide and Vital Remains, fans of those bands won’t suspect a pact with the Deity. This sin sounds good.