Artist: Aeon Sable
Genre: Gothic Rock
Release Date: 2nd November 2018
Label: Solar Lodge
Germany’s AEON SABLE have created their own mini-universe over the years, where nothing is done until it’s ready to be done, a sense of patient purpose underpinning album releases, press releases, and live performances. It works well for them, and on album number six, ‘Aether’ again demonstrates that approach, arriving on the scene more as a nonchalant and knowing shrug than with bluster and fanfare, and this is a very good thing indeed.
Spooky opener ‘Hand of Glory and the Nihilist’ veers from 90’s Gothic-Occult-Rock champions FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM to something altogether more graceful and mournful. It’s slow-burning, cavernous and fantastically sung, and not content with itself, decides to up the intensity and pace about half way through. Suddenly those mournful vocals are a tortured, passionate scream and you realise you’re getting a whole album’s worth of dark drama in one 8 minute song. That’s quite an achievement.
‘Follow The Light’ is a mere Pop song in comparison, which is not to say it’s without merit, bounding about with chugging guitars and a feeling that a chorus is just around the corner. It never comes, but no matter, this is compact and melodic, and ‘Deadlock Canon’ that follows is superb. Another lengthy opus, the vocals are again key here, strong and atmospheric, and nicely forward in the mix, the whole thing has a dreamlike kick to it. There’s melancholy in buckets here, but it’s never maudlin or self-serving - often the biggest stumbling block in dark rock is the temptation to sink into bloated bombast and miserable-by-numbers lyrics. There’s not of that here.
‘Burn For salvation’ gallops by merrily enough, the soft and harsh vocals again a good contrast, and ‘O Senhor Do Medo’ at ten minutes long draws you in to some dark ceremony, messing with your head and upping the urgency, spinning you around in smoke and flames and a thousand flashing lights - by the end, it’s quite exhausting. But what a rush! ‘Dark Matter’ slows everything right down and keeps you hanging, as if in fog, and it’s wonderfully sinister and strangely beautiful. And ‘Leaving of the Fourth Season…’ closes the album, although at over 17 minutes in length, it’s almost an album in its own right. It’s all in there. Angst. Fear. Euphoria. Completely epic in vision and scope, it never lingers in one style, the only thing missing is a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ middle section - maybe next album yes guys? As a statement piece, it really works, and the fact that it’s on such a statement album is a bonus.
With ‘Aether’, AEON SABLE prove they are masters of their own universe, and there’s a timelessness to their dark, gothic musings that’s rarely found in other genre bands. Building steadily on an already considerable back catalogue, this is by far their most consistent and complex release to date, and if approached with the patience it deserves, will give huge rewards.
01. Hand Of Glory And The Nihilist
02. Follow The Light
03. Deadlock Canon
04. Burn For Salvation
05. O Senhor Do Medo
06. Dark Matter
07. Leaving Of The Fourth Season…
Din-Tah Aeon - Guitars
Nino Sable - Vocals
Jo - Guitars
Quoth - Bass
https://www.facebook.com/aeonsable / http://aeonsable.de
Total: 8.5 / 10