Visionaers by Aeon Sable (2014)
In these times, saying that a group innovates in Gothic Rock music seems a true display of audacity. However, there is a Germany-based band who has committed to revamp this style since its debut four years ago. Without losing sight of the pioneers, these German/Portuguese musicians create songs that rekindle in us deeply felt and somber memories. On the basis of emotionally loaded vocals and a deliberate guitar-switched driving, alternating enraged riffs and delicate melodies, Aeon Sable faithfully expresses a paradoxical mixture of feelings: warmth and coldness, calm and anxiety, pleasure and pain… Added to this sonic diagram is their proficient handling of pace and atmosphere, in addition to some non-intrusive assimilations of elements coming from slowed-down metal, synth music and progressive rock. Better than ever, all these strengths converge in the band’s fourth full-length album, entitled “Visionaers”, which definitely confirms this band as a key player in the current Gothic Rock scene.
“Visionaers” offers a crystal-clear sound pleasure that helps with going on a gradual voyage of self-discovery across bleakly prohetical fictions. Although a windchill accompanies the listener along the way, there is a great wealth of shades and hooks to enjoy. As the opening track is launched off, sound freezes soul with an intriguingly far-off vibe. “Dawn of an Era” tunes in to an otherworldly station that emits at occult frecuencies and, thereby, both the cover artwork and the title of the album assume an even more intense meaning. Synthed-bass buzzings, watery noises and unsettling downtempo drums warn a forbidding presence: “… Baphomet / the God before all gods / who shall endure to the end of the Earth”. Then things are balanced with a balmy ritual air, morphed into Oriental flavored strings and female conjurations in Japanese. This track is such a rite of passage that duly prepares us to enjoy what comes next at its full intensity.
The single “Visions” appears next displaying all its anthemic power, structured around a pounding central beat and a catchy guitar monody that rings out throughout to provide a remembrance stirring up effect. It has been drawn on the effective interplay of shadows and lights, on the contrast between churningly epic riffs and compelling harmonies. Nino’s vocal play threads the moods by shifting from clean to harsh tones and, over the last third, this future classic is rounded off with a shiver-sender duel between keys and strings. The same holds true for “Star Casualties”, which truly honors the dark 90’s through searing, sinous guitar solos, harpsichord-like haunting accompaniments and an addictive refrain that will stored in your cache: “Black silk, sunglasses – like fallen from your dreams / opium for the masses – ice-cold by all means / red lips that teaches you ‘don’t dare coming close’ / for words that cuts through emotional overdose”.[…]