By Adrien Begrand
A word of warning, dear readers: the production on Aenaon’s debut EP does the exact opposite of what any band intends, compelling the listener to turn the music down, not up. This is some of the shrillest stuff I’ve heard since seeing Metal Church play a painfully treble-overloaded set in 1986. The Greek band might be going for something “futuristic” or “cutting edge” for all we know, but with the incredibly thin guitar tone, the barely audible bass, and the triggered drums mastered as loud as possible (as is the trend), it borders on overkill.
That said, make sure you turn this CD down and not off, because once you get past the rather dicey production, Aenaon’s undeniable talent quickly wins you over. Phenomenon is bound to please fans of all things Emperor, including Ihsahn and Zyklon, a very well-executed blackened death metal hybrid that’s in and out in less than half an hour. These guys know economy, as there’s nary a wasted second on these tracks, each one concise and unrelenting, technically proficient but willing to allow textured solos and melodic riffs to rise to the surface rather than be buried under non-stop blasting. As a result, we’re privy to some exceptionally promising material, such as “And…Chaos Enthroned”, “The Virus Code”, and the wickedly good, Dødheimsgard-tinged “Navel” (a song about the centre of the Earth, not belly buttons). A good first effort, but with a great producer this band could really turn heads.