Influence has led to both amazingly original and incredibly derivative works of art. As fantastic as innovation can be, sometimes an idea can be tweaked and nary a thing has to be changed to make it something that stands on its own in a unique and interesting way. In 2013 Aegaeon released the single, “Neural Union”, which showed that the rising trend of layered, ambient and atmospheric death metal that was being pioneered by the likes of Fallujah was picking up steam. It was a sound that suited the band well and left the listener longing for more. Finally, after a years long wait for a new full-length album that showcases the fruits born of that influence, Age has arrived. Does the album feel like a unique vision or a copy and paste of ideas that have since evolved beyond the original proof of concept?
Thankfully, Age is not a derivative work of art. It flows from beginning to end, operating as a singular vision that has enough to easily be declared as being within its own realm. It is unafraid to join several ton chugs with atmosphere that feels full and realized. Some bands may try to half-ass their atmospheric elements, but when you fully commit to the idea of mixing the two, Age is the result. On the title track, you have layered guitars that add to this idea of atmosphere. Then, Vangelis-esque synthesizers start to fill out the rest of the available space, which seems that most bands would stop. Yet here, at the end of the song, you have layered female vocals backed by a choir that knock you off your feet and send you floating out into space.
It doesn’t skimp on the heavy elements, either. The speed of the album rarely relents, only doing so to immerse you further into the reaches of the ethereal before it begins delivering blow after blow. The breakdowns and riffs hit just as hard as any band in the genre that is arguably doing less work than Aegaeon. Where it seems like other bands want to have their cake and eat it too by making death metal that merely has ambient interludes or hints at a vague idea of atmospheric death metal, Aegaeon sign their name to a concept they believe in with music that treats every element with equal importance and heft.
Age appears to be a product of influence, but it easily overtakes whatever inspiration it may have borrowed to facilitate its creation. This is a cohesive and interesting work that doesn’t feel like it was picked from the pocket of another artist. So often, it seems that a trend can overtake a scene and create bands that are mirror images of one another or groups all feeding off of the energy of a single source. It’s nice to see a band that understands a concept or idea can grow even further if you truly commit to its betterment on top of actively employing it. A vision as unique as what Aegaeon have presented us with is surely one for the ages.
Age is available now and can be purchased via Aegaeon’s Bandcamp page.