July 9, 2010 | , | 3.5

Aeon, Path of Fire

Aeon: Path of Fire

Let’s make no mistake here and try to sugar coat what Path of Fire may or may not be. The eleven tracks on Aeon‘s third full length aren’t revolutionary. They don’t push boundaries. They probably won’t be in Decibel’s Hall of Fame any time soon. But… these burly songs, however, will no doubt leave a malicious, blood-crusted boot print stamped across the back of your scrawny ass neck with ferocious, barbaric, stripped-down Swedish death metal without any of that melodic bullshit.

Think Malevolent Creation, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse then strip that unholy union down to nearly it’s bare essentials and that’s what you have from these Swedes — immediate, fierce and bludgeoning death metal with only the slightest twitch of variation between tracks to keep the album from becoming stagnant. The dueling guitarists jump from fairly technical and bruising riffs to flay the flesh from your bones with shredding leads and hooks. The vocalist must gargle arsenic before bed every night. His growls bellow from the depths of fiery Hell and his cadence fits the bruising rhythms perfectly. Get ready to shatter your spinal column with Path of Fire.

Forgiveness Denied
If you were at all unsure of which side of the cross Aeon sat on, “Forgiveness Denied” will surely enlighten you of their stance on religion. The band opens up Path of Fire with blasting drums, fairly technical riffing and growling vocal destruction. This thing has the accelerator floored right from the start and rarely lets up. There’s a nice bit of layered vocals during the chorus that gives the song some nice depth. And don’t miss the two sweet leads that transition from one to another about midway through the track.

Kill Them All
“Kill Them All” keeps the blood flowing at a good clip with beefier riffs and more of that unrelenting drum work that we first heard on the opening song. There’s a pretty sweet pattern to the vocals that ebb from a bestial, evil chorus to the main, barking delivery that accompanies galloping guitars. The first lead shows up at 1:42 and it shreds like no bodies business for a good few seconds before the guys shift into a series of groove fueled riffs. Man, if you’re neck isn’t sore by the second song you need to turn in your metal credentials.

I love the first minute or so of this next track — the guitars are absolutely massive. Overall, there’s a much darker vibe to the slower start of “Inheritance,” but that more methodical pace doesn’t last long as the layered vocals and blasting drums decide to take off. There’s a bit of a Middle Eastern flare to the lead at the two minute mark that gives the song a nice variation in sound. The short-lived technical highlights from the guitars are a nice way to break up the marching, bruising riffs that dominate this song.

Abomination to God
Now, this sounds like a wholesome, family oriented song. Yeah, right. This is one of the more violently delivered tracks on the album. It’s blasphemous, aggressive and catchy as hell with excellent vocal patterns, technical riffs and plenty of opportunities for you to growl along with the crew. It’s a dark and brooding song, that’s for sure.

Total Kristus Invictus
This minute and a half long instrumental has some nicely played acoustic guitar with a Mediterranean vibe that’s carried on the constant wind sound effects added to the track.

Of Fire
Ah crap. Are those keyboard samples at the start of “Of Fire”? Damn. Well lucky for me, they have no real affect on this monster of a song since the blasting drums and massive riffs do their best to drown them out of my memory. After a vicious scream that sets off the rest of the band, this four minute long song is packed full of bruising, buzz sawing guitars, barbaric drums and slick vocal patterns. The trading, layered leads at 2:30 is slick as hell.

I Will Burn
There’s a pretty memorable batch of riffs opening up “I Will Burn,” as the vocals come in with a classic death metal cadence that’ll have you head banging along in little to no time. This is a straight-forward, bludgeoning track that left me grinning ear to ear with it’s simplicity and groove. I love songs like this. In fact, hold on while I play it through one more time.

Suffer the Soul
And… we’re back. “Suffer the Soul” is packed full of rapid fire drumming, burly riffing and just the slightest tinge of melody. The leads that show up throughout the song have a great technical, yet flowing vibe to them. This is an unrelenting beast of a song that does it’s best to pulverize your very soul. You’ll be a better person for it. Trust me.

The Sacrament
Man, Aeon has certainly amped up the technical aspect of their playing with this wildly delivered guitar showcase. Overall, the song is fairly straight-forward with a catchy chorus, but the real highlight that you need to pay attention to throughout the song is the exemplary guitar work. They guys are busting their ass on this one.

Liar in the Name of God
We have here one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard on a death metal album all year long — you’ll be growling and shouting along with the band like a good little sinner each and every time the passages emerge from the bludgeoning din of rapid fire drums and crushing riffs. The layered vocals are nicely timed throughout the song, adding the right punch at all the right moments. Man, the series of leads after the three minute mark are adventurous and outstanding.

God of War
“God of War” closes the coffin that is Path of Fire with an epic demonstration of crushing riffs, barbaric drums and more. While “Liar in the Name of God’ was a fire tinged spit in the face of religion, this song is a bit more restrained and delivered with a measure of strategy to it. It’s no less violent or aggressive, but it’s definitely a little more thought out in terms of it’s structure. It’s a big song and couldn’t be more apt to close out a damn good album.

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