Sometimes the life of a music reviewer becomes less easy. Now don’t mistake me for a whiner, rather it’s a life filled with a constant supply of music new and old and as much as that sounds like a blessing, privilege and a whole lot of fun, it can become all too much, too similar and a little boring. So in a sea of endless music, drowning in the best that modern metal has to offer it’s great just to sit back and listen without the need to analyse every aspect of the music. Coming back from a break in reviewing I notice that the scenes I write about are fresher, more enjoyable and a whole less “samely”. Aeonless acts as one of the first bands to achieve my fresh faced analysis, achieving the sensibilities of a genre well versed in atmospheric nuances and cold themes. ‘Underearth Horizons’ shows a group achieving greatness, although a lot of people will not have heard this humble little act on a very humble Wolfmond Productions.
Draped in the usual stereotypes, Aeonless enjoys walking on the very foundations set in the early years of black metal; thankfully Underearth Horizons bring in their own individual modern flair to prevent any copycat syndrome. At its core, the album lives on a cinematic presence that builds and crescendos into a sweet black metal climax. It’s not all one direction however, as the album is broken neatly with six preludes. This gives the listener time to breathe, absorb and reflect on Aeonless’ brand of musical array. For those seeing “yet another black metal act”, the statement wouldn’t be that far from the truth however it goes to show with a few repeated listens and the ability to see past the stereotypes the listener can enjoy the very foundations of old, revisited and refreshed in 2014.
In terms of what Aeonless actually brings to the table, it’s actually a hidden gem. Most will look at this album and dismiss it simply because there are a whole host of other similar bands. What most shouldn’t do is exactly that. Underearth Horizons is a display of cinematically charged atmospheric traditional black metal with enough turn around to ensure a multitude of repeated listens.
More often than not stand out tracks come from underground bands, the problem is getting that particular band to a place where those tracks can be appreciated. Tracks like ‘Sword & Scythe’ and ‘Mountain Peak’ which bring together everything described above into eight plus minute tracks, soaring above the preconceptions of an over-saturated genre. It’s not without cause that the label behind the band is so willing to push these guys into the lime light. It’s not just a simple sales decision. It shows that the guys behind Wolfmond Productions have a decent head on shoulders thought process and are putting their resources behind Aeonless in a way that can only be perceived as positive.
Overall, it’s a wonder that these guys are virtually non-existent on the world’s stage, although completely understandable. Throughout the album’s runtime of an impressive hour and twenty minutes (spread over eighteen tracks) the music doesn’t stale or stagnate, just flattens and re-crescendos into a closing section of the album.