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Aenaon - Mnemosyne review




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Reviewer:
8.7

133 users:
8.35
Band: Aenaon
Album: Mnemosyne
Release date: October 2022


01. Psyche
02. Cartesian Eye
03. Synastry Of Heartbeats [feat. Achernar]
04. Pleiades
05. Trauma Cultura [feat. Achernar]
06. Clark Nova
07. Hysteria
08. Mantledeath [feat. Achernar]
09. Doppelgänger
10. Grand Narcotic Reharvest [bonus]


We all know music evolves; it's inevitable that, as is the case with any form of extreme metal, when you look back through the years you will notice a significant change in what we metalheads call black metal. Some bands take that experimentation to a whole new level of boldness and obscurity, which is where we find Aenaon. On this fourth full-length installment, Mnemosyne, we see just what happens when progressive experimentation perfectly collides with black metal, and it's pure magic!

Now let's turn to a nation that has really helped contribute towards this extreme genre, most commonly by introducing us to its Hellenic black metal scene that sprang forth in the early '90s. That nation is Greece, with names like Rotting Christ, Varathron, and Acherontas first showing their mighty presence. The Hellenic scene has in turn become a style in which still remains relatively strong to this day, where the strong, hypnotic, mid-tempo, and highly melodic riffs are still clearly present, but then there's also those bands that dabble in the more obscure and experimental regions of black metal, with the band Necromantia most notable for doing so. But no band has ever really made such an unorthodox approach into black metal as Aenaon, who, consisting of several members from Hellenic bands such as Varathron and Katavasia, travel even deeper into the depths of peculiarities. Now let me explain how they do so.

As I mentioned, the band's style of approach is indeed peculiar. Here on Mnemosyne they provide such a unique level of capabilities, turning their attention towards a progressive and even sometimes avant-garde approach. I have to say the influences are way out there! I mean, there is even an element of '70s progressive rock with jazz fusion thrown into the mix, too, with some lead guitar work and instrumental interludes sounding almost as if they were directly influenced by King Crimson, of all bands. All of these seemingly crazy genre combinations are apparent whilst still they maintain much of their former Hellenic sound.

Aenaon simply shows us a masterclass in musicianship on Mnemosyne as these musicians once again abandon their Hellenic roots and create a unique, powerful, and progressive structure where they work with strong symphonic elements, alongside thunderous drumming and meaty guitar tones. The main riff patterns are highly melodic and with a high level of quality consistency, which remain present on each track. Saxophonist Orestis Zyrinis even provides a clear demonstration of how effectively a saxophone can really work in extreme metal, something we are becoming all too familiar with this year, but that intro to "Synastry Of Heartbeats" is simply mind-blowing. The two interludes, "Pleiades" and "Clark Nova", and the outro, "Doppelgänger", are also some fine pieces of masterful instrumentation that are by no means fillers, as they help immensely with the album's ambient build-up and flow. The vocals are very much worth taking note of as well, as Astrous provides not only efficient growls and shrieks, but also clean vocals, too - and mixed so effectively and conveniently as well, I might add.

Production-wise I have to say this is almost faultless; they create the perfect blend between the aggressive rawness of those distorted guitars and powerful harsh vocals and the clean, crisp sound of that beautiful saxophone, the acoustic passages, and the symphonics, so every element comes through so clearly, and yet in keeping with that traditional aggressive Hellenic sound.

We certainly have had no shortage of surprises this year, with bands such as White Ward and Kardashev showing us just how well black metal can be made into a progressive structure whilst going hand-to-hand with multiple genres, including jazz. So whether you like your black metal simply traditional, melodic, symphonic, or progressive, it really does not matter here, because Aenaon provides us with the whole package and then some.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9





Written on 18.10.2022 by And well there you have it.


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 214 users
18.10.2022 - 07:21
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
I've lately been listening to a lot of avant-garde and progressive black metal (Thy Catafalque, Deathspell Omega, Sigh), so this was a very fitting recommendation for me - plus, the moment you mentioned Acherontas, I knew I had to give this a listen

Once I read your review, I pulled this up on YouTube and hit play. The result? An enjoyable listen indeed! It didn't knock my socks off, but there were several nice moments throughout and the jazzy interludes were an interesting inclusion. Overall, my favorite songs were the fast-paced "Hysteria" and the groovy, menacing "Synastry of Heartbeats".

Thanks for sharing this album
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18.10.2022 - 09:09
Rating: 9
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by F3ynman2000 on 18.10.2022 at 07:21

I've lately been listening to a lot of avant-garde and progressive black metal (Thy Catafalque, Deathspell Omega, Sigh), so this was a very fitting recommendation for me - plus, the moment you mentioned Acherontas, I knew I had to give this a listen

Once I read your review, I pulled this up on YouTube and hit play. The result? An enjoyable listen indeed! It didn't knock my socks off, but there were several nice moments throughout and the jazzy interludes were an interesting inclusion. Overall, my favorite songs were the fast-paced "Hysteria" and the groovy, menacing "Synastry of Heartbeats".

Thanks for sharing this album

Thanks I'm glad to see you enjoyed it It's an unusual style and not for everyone I must admit, but I really liked this album abd it's quality musicianship.
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18.10.2022 - 10:16
nikarg
Mod
Nice review, Andy, it's always better to review an album you really like, isn't it? Since you enjoy this experimental/progressive bm sound, may I suggest the first three albums by Hail Spirit Noir (in case you don't know them already)? Also, Aenaon's previous album, Hypnosophy, is my favourite by them. This latest one is really good too, of course.

Also -since you mentioned the cleans by Astrous- additional clean vocals on “Synastry Of Heartbeats”, “Trauma Cultura” and “Mantledeath” were guest performed by Frédéric Gervais (aka Achernar) of Orakle.
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18.10.2022 - 12:09
Rating: 9
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by nikarg on 18.10.2022 at 10:16

Nice review, Andy, it's always better to review an album you really like, isn't it? Since you enjoy this experimental/progressive bm sound, may I suggest the first three albums by Hail Spirit Noir (in case you don't know them already)? Also, Aenaon's previous album, Hypnosophy, is my favourite by them. This latest one is really good too, of course.

Also -since you mentioned the cleans by Astrous- additional clean vocals on “Synastry Of Heartbeats”, “Trauma Cultura” and “Mantledeath” were guest performed by Frédéric Gervais (aka Achernar) of Orakle.

Thanks much appreciated. I've heard of Hail Spirit Noir but they're a band I've not yet got round to listening to, I imagine I will like them though. And thanks for mentioning the additional vocalists by the way, as I never featured their names in my review
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18.10.2022 - 13:39
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by nikarg on 18.10.2022 at 10:16

Nice review, Andy, it's always better to review an album you really like, isn't it? Since you enjoy this experimental/progressive bm sound, may I suggest the first three albums by Hail Spirit Noir (in case you don't know them already)? Also, Aenaon's previous album, Hypnosophy, is my favourite by them. This latest one is really good too, of course.

Also -since you mentioned the cleans by Astrous- additional clean vocals on “Synastry Of Heartbeats”, “Trauma Cultura” and “Mantledeath” were guest performed by Frédéric Gervais (aka Achernar) of Orakle.

To me this somehow reminds a bit own version of Enslaved evolution.

@andy good job man, to me best Helenic m bands are Kawir and Katavasia..
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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18.10.2022 - 14:00
Rating: 9
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by Bad English on 18.10.2022 at 13:39

To me this somehow reminds a bit own version of Enslaved evolution.

@andy good job man, to me best Helenic m bands are Kawir and Katavasia..

Thanks man Katavasia are a good band, Kawir I know less of so I will have to check them out more. Your right, there is definitely some moment's in this album that make me think of Enslaved, although I've always preferred their earlier kvlt stuff.
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19.10.2022 - 00:26
J the Metallizer

I just realised (realized for the "cool" people in the house), why do you not link a song from the record you're reviewing? It seems like basic good practice, no? Keep in mind, this is not slander against the reviewer, I'm just a little bit baffled.
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A lot of times, listening to blackened death metal is a lot like waking up after a night of heavy drinking: you know you had a decent time, but you can’t remember much of it. - Mark Z.
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19.10.2022 - 00:52
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
Written by J the Metallizer on 19.10.2022 at 00:26

I just realised (realized for the "cool" people in the house), why do you not link a song from the record you're reviewing? It seems like basic good practice, no? Keep in mind, this is not slander against the reviewer, I'm just a little bit baffled.

That is indeed an interesting observation. I'm not sure why most reviewers don't do it. I think I've only done it once (with my Terminalist review). Maybe the idea is to let the reader freely choose what platform they want to use to listen to the album?
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19.10.2022 - 16:46
Enissa

Great review. I gotta say, I haven't turned my attention towards Aenaon since their album "Extance" was released, and I was blasting it in my poor ears all the time - but I am enjoying this one a lot. The saxophone is as smooth as ever, and sure the metal parts are nice too.
Now I just have to do a discography listen, and listen to all their albums in order. I was doing the same for Rotting Christ this week, so why not continuing with another Greek band
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19.10.2022 - 17:11
Rating: 9
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by Enissa on 19.10.2022 at 16:46

Great review. I gotta say, I haven't turned my attention towards Aenaon since their album "Extance" was released, and I was blasting it in my poor ears all the time - but I am enjoying this one a lot. The saxophone is as smooth as ever, and sure the metal parts are nice too.
Now I just have to do a discography listen, and listen to all their albums in order. I was doing the same for Rotting Christ this week, so why not continuing with another Greek band

Thanks This is a great and unique album, I like it alot too, and from what I've heard this is probably my favourite album from their discography. Rotting Christ are also another great black metal band from Greece and yet vastly different in style. Varathron, Necromantia, and Katavasia are also quality Hellenic bands too.
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23.10.2022 - 21:38
Rating: 10
prnzokoshiroltra

Written by F3ynman2000 on 18.10.2022 at 07:21

I've lately been listening to a lot of avant-garde and progressive black metal (Thy Catafalque, Deathspell Omega, Sigh), so this was a very fitting recommendation for me - plus, the moment you mentioned Acherontas, I knew I had to give this a listen


I'm not just (misguidedly) avant-garde/abstract/impossibly stupid joke material - I've lived n breathed ze avant-garden (growing food crops completely off-season) since '95 when Faith No More n Mr. Bungle (mild assistance from copious cow-poop 'shrooms) turned my outlook on music upside-down... and my taste just got shittier n shittier from there on haha I kid, I kid - but I did go through a phase where it seee I could only handle accessible stuff like most melodeath and/or metalcore... alt-metal n nu-metal n garbage with ill intentions of gettin so much fame they get PTSD from it...

and sell the sidewards 8 for infinity sale-platinum? *inexplicable, unnecessary cringe to fit in with the internet-raised gens who are surprisingly makin more rookie mistakes than ppl in the "Dark Ages"... I guess these are the low-character low-class "Delusional Wimp Self-Emo Slave Ages" (or just "Goddamit We're Doomed" Ages for semi-short) platinum might as well be wood (thanks Kool Keith for that base-joke's innards - (rusty, talentless amateur-dip lvl rhyme incoming) --> hey, at least I'm not that guy (think PBR guy - thanks, Psychostick haha H-FLAT!! carry the hate weight! lol) who shows up drunk n on peyote to the wrong show n goin "Play Sum SKYNYRDDD!!" ppl laugh like it's a silly blurt-out joke between songs but his fried brain is DEAD serious. 40 hits of acid later, he loses the serious part but not the noun/adjective in front of it.

the point of the barely intermittent filter-needing nonsense there - is that I can help you out with recommendations for avant-garde I've come across in the last 27 yrs lol

and Aenaon I knew was goin to be great, I don't think dude's disappointed me yet (Esoctrilihum - same... Saopth's wasn't bad at all but some may view it as a retread)

HERE'S HOW TO ORDER! <-- the new olympics-dominating bobsled team. if that ain't funny, then... yea maybe it's not - cool see ya bye

Edit: damn emoti-cons AMERICONNN not one of closet Nationalist Kerry King's better ideas (Kerry King Kong... KKK!?!?! evidence is evident! piling up like the swear-jar that I have not (read: WILL not) implemented or my rare coin collection is in trouble (not worth much these days anyhow)

last 3 records spun
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Dog Fashion Disco - Cult Classic (2022)
Dirty Shirt - Get Your Dose Now! (2022)
Defleshed - Grind over Matter (2022)
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No one can fend off 100 multi-colored Draculas
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25.11.2022 - 09:44
nikarg
Mod
Aenaon just shared your review
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25.11.2022 - 11:26
Rating: 9
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by nikarg on 25.11.2022 at 09:44

Aenaon just shared your review

That's fantastic Hopefully this will give Aenaon the credit they very much deserve.
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