Allegories of Light
Self Financed 2009
Normally I find keyboard heavy black metal to be somewhat boring and pretentious. However, if done right it can be an exciting and refreshing angle to approach metal's most sinister subgenre. Astral Aeon, from Greece, is one of the few bands that gets the recipe correct by concentrating on making interesting and memorable riffs as well as using the synth to propel the songs forward. After a ho-hum intro, icy-cold Nordic melodies storm through the gates on The Bride of Corinth. Nebular chimes are mimicked by the synths during the ancient sounding chorus. A modernized sounding folk melody floats to the surface towards the end of the track. The album truly becomes magical on Curse of Gaia as a catchy main riff stands as an imposing presence while Tasos' vocals are razor sharp shrieks cutting through the primal darkness. The song ends with nods towards classical instrumentation via the heavy use of synth. Lunar Doctrine is much more uncontrolled, like a raging madman as Tasos unleashes his full vocal fury and the guitars explode with fiery riffing. This becomes somewhat tempered by operatic female voices and a nostalgic riff. Echoes of The Cure are embraced in the opening stage of the track named after my webzine, Nocturnal Cult. heh heh. But seriously, this track is a strange hybrid of Hellenic black metal and Dimmu Borgir at their best. This makes for a composition that possess a brooding atmosphere and a shadowy beauty. The Great Beyond is imbued with hints of Non Serviam era Rotting Christ as it abounds with Hellenic black metal riffs and accents. As I stated before, I am not big on synth drenched black metal, however Astral Aeon has the right moods and atmospheres active within their compositions and there is a strong undercurrent of Hellenic black metal that is somewhat hidden by the overall strong structures and epic riffing. Allegories of Light is a strong debut from this Greek quintet.