Thank fuck for death metal bands who get that the brutal stuff is meant to be fun. Album number four from the Swedes sees the heaviness upped without losing sight of the fundamentals.
Roiling riffage propels Aeon’s Black forwards, the shifts to chugging grooves vary the attack, dissonance lends it just the right amount of evil character and Tommy Dahlström’s vocals carry sufficient clarity to be memorable while still being nicely horrible. The ‘straight up’ end of death metal can sometimes be overlooked in favour of the more deliberately technical or progressive varieties, which is a shame, as the sheer wicked exuberance of albums like this is hard to match for pure entertainment.
The only slight failing of Aeon’s Black is the occasional over-complication, such as when the minute-long Neptune The Mystic, a comparatively slow-paced instrumental track, takes the foot off the gas, allowing you to catch breath you hadn’t lost before the fury of Nothing Left To Destroy kicks back in. It’s a minor distraction, but a fatal one.