Black Sun Aeon

Routa

Written by: EW on 10/05/2010 22:33:00

I'm not sure this second album of Black Sun Aeon is being reviewed at the right time of year as my notes are full of words like 'gloomy', 'sad' and 'somber', yet as we speak the days are getting longer and the sun is causing all kinds of unsightly creatures in this fair isle to remove clothing from the kind of fat, white skin that only a BNP follower could be pleased to see. Alas, with the only other option to wait for winter to come round I'm duty bound to try and squeeze into the fridge and give it a go.

Black Sun Aeon are all about the creation of dark, cold, 'winter' metal for want of a better term, where strong influences from Katatonia to Sentenced are combined in a sound outrageously Finnish and sufficiently emotionally involved to join the ranks of Swallow the Sun, Insomnium and Hanging Garden and appeal to a diverse cross-section of the metal crowd. Variation is not high in amongst the much-too-much 14 songs & 78 minutes of "Routa" but as best exemplified in "Frozen", "Wreath Of Ice" and the title track, the tone is that of upbeat misery - not the soul-sapping suicidal vibe of many BM and doom artists, but about a strength to be found in the overwhelming dominance the seasons play on our being and our oft struggle to endure them. The vocals flirt frequently between a well-rounded bassy clean style and a light growl, as do the guitars, not afraid to relax on the distortion and allow simple clear reverb to help build the requisite atmosphere in alliance with the classic synth sound for this genre.

BSA should however learn to make a greater impact with individual songs rather than relying on sheer weight of numbers; with the similarity in tone found throughout getting through later numbers becomes a bit of a struggle with each playing and lessens the impact better moments had built up. "Dead Sun Aeon" utilises female vocals nicely, "Cold" is extremely Katatonia-y as is "River" with it's Primordial-ness, but all in all there is little to distinguish BSA from, and rate them above, some of the aforementioned bands of this style. "Routa" as an album is an excellent representation of the overtly-Scandic death/doom genre but being a few songs too long and lacking enough personal identity does not allow Black Sun Aeon to sit at the genre's top table yet. There is much however to work from here to allow that step up next time.

Download: Routa, Funeral Of World, River
For the fans of: Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, Hanging Garden
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.04.2010
Cyclone Empire

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