Aeons – Consequences Review

Some albums just rub you up the wrong way from the get-go. When a collection begins with a very serious voice intoning “So much easier to see the world in black and white. Gray? I don’t know what to do with gray,” well, my eyes roll back so hard they put my back out. This is a pseudo-intellectual, high-school aphorism game of the most nosebleedingly obvious and uncool. Yet Isle of Man band Aeons thought it profound enough to kick off their sophomore collection, Consequences, the follow up to 2019’s A Tragic End. Initially, I wondered if I were listening to satire: a vicious send-up of metal’s lyrical deficiencies. But, as the rest of the album made clear, this was an earnest sentiment, expressed by a band taking its mission very seriously indeed. Well, holy smokes. You can’t judge an album by its opening lyrics, but you can wonder, is the band’s content able to recover from this dreadful start?

Aeons play a form of progressive metal which, like most progressive bands, sounds an awful lot like what has come before, with melodies and deathcore vocals fighting it out. Don’t get too excited at this never-before-heard sound, however. This is Born of Osiris by way of Thy Art is Murder with a massive detour through Veil of Maya. If Aeons could be said to have an “angle,” it’s that it embraces its influences while incorporating an even broader palette, with traces of nu metal (Slipknot) and even post-rock. If this all sounds awfully familiar, and like a reviewer dropping too many names, that’s because Aeon is tinkering rather than reinventing. Some of those tinkers work beautifully. Others… less so.

For a technical death metal band, Aeons’ approach to songwriting is remarkably shaggy. This is not a criticism. There’s a certain joyful freedom to much of the album, and a willingness to explore different avenues that occasionally results in the band unearthing some surprising and moving moments. The howling, crunchy bits of the album are perfectly adequate, if unremarkable. But it’s in the quieter parts that Consequences really shines. There’s a shimmering intensity to some of the cuts (“Rubicon,” “Bloodstains,” “Evelyn”) that elevates the material to the level of memorable. The band has a knack for carving out space in amongst the djent, and it pays off handsomely, especially when the band’s gentler, more melodic side is embraced. Consequence is at its best when it’s seducing you…

… But at its least convincing when it’s not seducing you. The weaknesses of the album concern the more traditional, angry moments. Quite simply, the loud barks, djent rhythms, and nu metal moments fail to impress except on the most superficial of levels. If the quiet sections show real emotion and intelligence, the loud bits are often as generic as progressive djent gets. Chugging guitars, riffs straight from the prog playbook, and bombast that sacrifices dynamism for loudness, all result in significant stretches of Consequences that too frequently lose their way and become monotonous (See “Thoughts of a Dying Astronaut”). Frustratingly, the generic bombast distracts from the more interesting, slower parts, with the tension cancelling these opposing forces out. The dense mix only compounds the problem, focusing on claustrophobic and loud when most of the tracks really needed space to breathe.

Overall, Aeons has produced an enjoyable but ultimately unremarkable album. When the band finds some space to calm down, breathe, and focus on melody, the results are interesting and catchy, albeit unoriginal. Too much of Consequences, however, is spent with the band resolutely emphasizing its weaknesses, while heroically minimizing its strengths. The result is a collection that manages to be promising and disappointing at the same time. The good news is that the way forward is clear: Aeons needs a better producer, and the confidence to embrace melody over bombast. Or, to put it another way, they should spend less time in the blacks and whites, and more time in the grays.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self Release
Websites:  |
Releases Worldwide: September 10th, 2021

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