Rise To Dominate
posted on 9/2007 By:
Everyone knows that metal has something of a—shall we say, limited palette when it comes to lyrical content. Not a lot of metal bands are known for their lyrical clout, but on occasion someone will be either poetic enough or ridiculous enough to actually garner some notice through all the blasting, chugging, gurgling and shrieking. Aeon was an example of the latter; they were introduced to me as featuring the most ridiculously over-the-top anti-Christian lyrics ever written. Indeed, the absurd (and clearly tongue-in-cheek) prose of tracks like “God Gives Head in Heaven” and “Biblewhores” were worth a chuckle, but the band’s decidedly American brand of brutal death metal was far more interesting to me than the jokey lyrics. With the industry might of Metal Blade Records at their backs and the fandom of legends like Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse on their sides, these Swedes have elected to edge towards a slightly more controlled and serious sound on Rise to Dominate.
I’ve frequently said that quality of performance and attention to detail make or break the vast majority of metal records, and this is a perfect example. Aeon are playing a fundamentally derivative style here; their sound is a fairly straightforward blend of Morbid Angel and Deicide, with perhaps a dash of New York technicality thrown in for good measure. What makes them stand out is the pure professionalism that oozes from every aspect of their music. With stellar technical showings by literally every band member except for predictably inaudible bassist Max Carlberg and a gutsy but precise Dan Swanö production, Rise to Dominate is a totally airtight listening experience. This magnifies the effectiveness of their churning, stolidly amelodic DM. Guitarists Daniel Dlimi and Zeb Nilsson produce some truly mesmerizing riff maelstroms on tracks like “Spreading Their Disease,” “Hate Them,” “House of Greed,” and “There Will Be No Heaven For Me.” Vocalist Tommy Dahlström possesses a commanding and cavernous bellow that adds loads of presence and catchiness to the otherwise somewhat homogenous riffing, and Nils Fjellström (also of Dark Funeral) is an absolute monster behind the kit with pinpoint-precision double kick work and an endless arsenal of convulsive stop-start grooves and blasts. The only real break in the intensity here comes in the form of Azagthothian lurchers like “You Pray to Nothing” and closer “No One Escapes Us” (which is basically a straight ripoff of “Hatework” off of MA’s Domination); other than that, Rise to Dominate maintains a pretty constant but manageable level of Satan-fueled aggression.
Needless to say, Aeon aren’t exactly reinventing the fucking wheel here. This is fast, savage, pretension-free death metal that pulls no punches and has absolutely no tricks up its pentagram-emblazoned sleeve. If you’re a death metal fan this is a no-brainer pickup that will provide hours of neck-wrecking delight. If you’re not, then…well, I personally think you’re missing out, but this isn’t gonna make you see the light. Bottom line is that Rise to Dominate is great fun for the influences-on-the-sleeve DM crowd.
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