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Aeon Sable - Saturn Return (2012) - Review

Band: Aeon Sable
Album title: Saturn Return
Release date: 12 December 2012 (digital), 22 February 2013 (vinyl)
Label: AF-music

01. ...Algorithm Of None
02. Praying Mantis
03. Dancefloor Satellite
04. Fabulous Land (Stormed)
05. New Breed
06. Dead End
07. Ritual...

I don't like to repeat myself, but I must say it again that this year was a fantastic year for gothic rock. Bands like Brotherhood, Whispers In The Shadow, Merciful Nuns, Red Sun Revival, Golden Apes and many others released beautiful albums, but for 'creme de la creme' we had to wait until the end of the year and Aeon Sable's sophomore album. It was in 2010 when their debut Per Aspera Ad Astra struck me with its amazing atmospheres and unconventional, kind of alternative approach to make gothic rock. Yes, there were still some things that could be done better, but that album left an unforgettable experience with songs like "Exodus", "Monument" or "Sever" for example. I was patiently and anxiously waiting for their next studio output, wondering if they could at least repeat some of the amazing parts of their own interpretation of gothic rock from their debut album.

Aeon Sable if you didn't know is duo from Essen in Germany. Main members Din-Tah Aeon and Nino are experienced musicians, they are and were involved in many other projects, but their, I believe, most expressive musical creation must be Aeon Sable. Their music is one superb search to make supreme atmospheric and yet dark music and they succeeded with that on before mentioned debut, but believe me, they surpassed it from many aspects on their new musical child Saturn Return. I know, there must be something with effect of saturn on some musicans lately, remember Saturn In Ascension from Danish doomsters Saturnus.

It would be kind of unfair to label their music as gothic rock. There are of course many influences from great 80's and also 90's goth bands, but the two don't limit theirselves on that. Modern, with many influences from countless genres that dwell in atmospheric sounds, yet original and bravely modern. Seven, almost epic songs and one hidden track at the end will certainly take you on an outstanding journey into discovery of most subtle forms of dark sounds within rock music. With kind of inteligent mystical lyrics and concept, everything is settled to offer one kind of sonic adventure. Songs like unbeliveable epic "Praying Mantis" in which Aeon Sable really plays with listeners expectations while you wait in this picturesque sonic landscape for something solemn to break through, and it does in the last half of the songs, with pure evil-kind of eerie atmosphere similar to something that Anathema did on Silent Enigma, mixed with most atmospheric metal gaze that you could ever imagine. Beautiful and captivating melodies are present all over this record, most of the time it is very gentle, calm and warm, but in all this safety there is a shadow where the beast awaits to rise, you can almost feel it. Just listen to slow, but massive "Fabulous Land (Stormed)" where gloomy synths, majestic guitar work and smooth velvet warm vocals of N1n0 take you somewhere out of this world. Or if you prefer atmospheric sounds similar to those on Tiamat's A Deeper Kind Of Slumber and songs like "Mount Marilyn" then there are "New Breed", with it's waveing lines and harsh dark industrial outbreak in the middle of it, and the last one beauty, "Ritual...", with another top atmospheric trip into dark subconscious of yours. "Dead End" on the other side has that typical 80's kind of bass lead, similar to Craig Adams work on First And Last And Always. "Dancefloor Satellite" is an instant hit. With it's rather melancholic, almost popy, still uplifting, rather erotic and danceable rhytm is a homage to 80's goth, I find a lot of connections with early The Cure, still, even in this one there are many of other insertions like some eastern vibes.

Aeon Sable are not afraid to experiment, but this record in comparison to their debut is more compact, it has an elaborated, perfected style and sound. The two use a lot of electronics, but not in a way to use them as instrumentation per se, rather they implement the sound with it to build even stronger, more melancholic and deep atmospheres. Production this time is top notch, it has got more depth and it's clean. I won't explain you how amazing the guitar work is, neither I won't comment on exceptional drum beats, because believe me, this is simply one of those records that are a must to have. Saturn Return is available only as a digital download for now, next year it will see its release on vinyl, but unfortunately no CD version is announced for now. Anyway, one of the greatest releases of 2012.

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

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