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Aeon Sable - Visionaers (2014) - Review

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Band: Aeon Sable
Album title: Visionaers
Release date: 17 October 2014
Label: Solar Lodge

01. ...Dawn Of An Era
02. Visions
03. Quaalude Tango
04. Transmigration (Stormed)
05. Star Casualties
06. Black Swan
07. A Serpente e o Andarilho

Aeon Sable, a name that must already bring shivers to every and each soul fancying dark music out there. The band is one of the most productive and credible bands in the dark rock scene, but not only, with each new release, the German band expands the borders of the genre - let's say gothic rock, even though this is a bit unjust to say so for their musical creations. Now, the fourth album is upon us, a monster, a true experience of unworldly ambiances that goes beyond the channels settled by big names long time ago, yet carrying the vibration of tradition, but pushing it forwards in an elegant, not intrusive way. Since the debut album, Per Aspera Ad Astra, the two, Nino Sable and Din-Tah Aeon showed to those who want to hear new directives in goth rock that they can go for those, and the sound of new dark rock era was born, if not already with before mentioned debut, absolutely then on the following two masterworks, Saturn Return and Aequinoction, everything has fallen in the right place. There's no question about the fact that the songs like "Dancefloor Satellite", "Praying Mantis", "Tenfifteen",... became true evergreens of the dark music scene and with gloomy, sombre, sometimes dancy, many times suspenseful song compositions, but mostly intense melodies that can captivate, they reached a status of artists that can charm even those most demanding listeners.

One year after the stunning "mini" album Aequinoctium Aeon Sable offers an ahead of time album named Visionaers. It holds the right title, yes, and with seven sonic "visions" featured on this album Aeon Sable grants us a voyage through the inner universe, showing us the darkest secrets and yet leaving a lot to each ones imagination. The world we are stepping in is full of drama, magic and beauty, it's an emotive, plain and somehow progressive intrusion of dark solemnity visualized through perfectly balanced soundscapes and smoky words that come out from Nino's mounth in such a compulsive manner, but still keeping everything as much melancholic as it can be. It hits with intense density of churning gothic guitar riffs, then it goes beyond every kind of expectance with post-rock riffs and plays with dim electronics. Plenty of almost pop like passages make everything even more flowing and dynamic, thus kindles the fire in the hearts of those searching from music to be somehow sweet and at the same time diverse, yet abrasive and gloomy in its core. Pretty much paradoxical, isn't it?

Visionaers opens up with a wailing freezing ambiances created by bass lines in "...Dawn Of An Era" and opens a portal in another dimension while the male and female dialogue goes on and then launches the absolute goth rock hit, the first single, "Visions", that by now all of you should have memorised it by heart. Almost typical gothic rock guitars, slightly unconventional danceable melody, hypnotic strong vibe, by now trademark, emotive, raspy and smoky gentle Sable's vocals, invoking synths and delightful rhythm section leading the way, make out of this piece a real anthem. How everything goes beyond all expectations in epic "Quaalude Tango", where the band plays with escapistic ambiances substantiated by heavy riffs, occasionally walking a thin line of doom metal and reaches in the chorus invigorating climax that sounds similar to those of Tiamat in their golden era of Wildhoney. The mood softens up in the creepy romantic delights of Deied's (the electro/industrial side project of the members) cover of "Transmigration (Stormed)", just listen to those sparkly electronics while beign overtaken by melancholic feeling and you'll be hooked, believe me. "Star Casualities" is rather down to earth slowly evolving gothic rock piece with an oriental scent that lurks in background. Aeon Sable become masters in creating vast atmospheric soundscapes by making use of elements taken from post-rock and metal, even shoegaze, dark wave and cinematic music, that's perfectly heard when the things go over and beyond with another true gem named "Black Swan", just like being pushed out of this place in the wastelands of universe, yet being trapped in this harsh sinful reality. And with the final chapter, "A Serpente e o Andarilho", sangt in Portuguese language, those before mentioned things are escalating in the unimaginable spheres. And if you are missing the impactful voice of Johan Endlund on for example "Whatever That Hurts", then listen to Nino going harsher in this one, and while the spoken words are filling the atmosphere I almost expected that the next thing will be Moonspell's riff from "Full Moon Madness" coming along and I wasn't that far away from the truth, just listen to the enraged, yet beautifully controlled guitar riffs, spherical keys and strong drumming. In the end there's a traditional hidden track where Din-Tah shows some more guitar visions just to perfectly close this chapter and leaving all the doors open for another one .

Aeon Sable's fourth album is everything that and even more, it reaches the heights that were set with previous albums, but it goes further. Thankfully also the production, final mix, mastering and artwork concept works in their favour. Visionaers is by all means an album showing now a completely consistent band that's expanding their own artistical limits and with that, maybe even unconsciously, writing the history of the genre, making it modern with an unpretentious approach. A must!

"Come heavy sleep, erase us,
pull your strings so we can dance.
Gnaw your tongues, grind your teeth
and lie down, lie down, further down
to brother sleep."

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10