For all their pedigree – Sons Of Aeon count past and present members of the likes of Swallow The Sun and Ghost Brigade among their lineup – these Finns haven’t half made an unengaging record.
Their debut full-length may be full of barrage and bluster and yet they’ve given the merest of European twists to little more than the entry-level playbook of US metalcore standards. The result, while not altogether unpleasant, means that the pace changes in a track like Burden become draining in their predictability.
When SOA do deviate from their templates, the new idea is wrung and worn to breaking point, be it the monotonously extended build of the album’s opener, Faceless, or the more considered ambience of The Centre. Tony Kaikkonen’s vocal parts might eschew cleanliness for a uniform growl, but in doing so they just find a slightly different median criteria to stick close to.
It’s a perfectly competent piece of work, but without a spark of invention in the songwriting to counterweight the formulaic ideals, it’s a tough album to recommend.