Aenaon
Extance
(Code666 Records)

Though these Grecians have been around since 2005, they’ve only put out two full-length albums in their entire career. But if you’re only going to put a few albums every so often, then make them memorable. But that’s just what they did with 2011’s Cendres Et Sang. It was truly a piece of beauty and malice, hardly believable in its wide range of experimentation. But for progressive black metal, these guys really take it to the extreme. There’s even a harmonica solo in “Land Of No Water” that actually seems to work with the black metal riffs! I know, it’s gonna be a hard sell, especially if you’re a black metal purist. And I’m sure you’re saying to me “We don’t want any damn harmonicas in our black metal!” and I do understand that logic completely. But Aenaon are the kind of band for those who do like to hear harmonicas, classical instruments and avant-garde elements in their black metal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these elements, as they keep the album sounding fresh and the genre from becoming stagnant. Saxophones are also welcome in this joyous occasion, as the album opens right up with them. But in all this, yes… you’re wondering…

All the unorthodox instruments are nice, but where in the hell is the black metal?”

And that’s what I’m getting at. If the main riffs of “Deathtrip Chronicle” don’t sound like black metal to you, then you’ve still got those concert earplugs in. Adding to do that, frontman Astrous shows that he can scathingly scowl with the best of them, as well as sing a few clean bars on the album. This is done wonderfully well by the way, sounding like a man who has brushed up on his vocal lessons and follows correct pitch and harmony. And yes, there’s also a saxophone solo where a guitar solo would normally belong. And if you can play the sax as well as you can play the axe, then you’re a hell of a musician in my book. Achillieas C. and Anax do describe their guitar playing prowess however, even bringing the black n’ roll feel to the orgasm opener of “Grau Diva.” And fans of avant-garde had better check out the chorus portions (riff melodies included) of “A Treatise On The Madness Of God” because that’s clearly taken from Arcturus. Even female vocals appear in “Funeral Blues” which is in fact one of the more fiery tracks on the release. Nycriz pounds on the album, making the black metal backed by Thyragon’s bass sound even more threatening. Closing out the album is a nearly thirteen minute finale by the name of “Plaindrome” that contains everything from traditional Grecian folk elements to shiny prog keyboards…as well as a blistering drum assault. These Grecians show that they can bring forth the fire of Hephaestus, unleash the wrath of Ares and still give in to the subtle musicality of Apollo. Surely the fates have smiled upon them as they’ve brought forth the fury of Poseidon on this amazing release. There’s a reason I give an album a perfect score, and that’s because there’s nothing else out there quite like it – and might not be for many years to come. The adventurous metalhead will be pleased with this timeless relic. And no, I’m not going to bring up a reference to the Golden Fleece. But yes, it does seem to be the musical equivalent of that legendary item. (Eric May)

Purchase Extance here: iTunes | Physical

www.aenaon-band.com
www.code666.net

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