Wednesday 2 January 2013

Review: Aeon Sable - 'Saturn Return'

'Saturn Return'

German gothic duo Aeon Sable's début album 'Per Aspera Ad Astra' was a very strong first of offering for a new project, blending lo-fi gothic rock with ambitious progressive elements. Therefore their sophomore effort 'Saturn Return' has plenty to live up to. But Din-tah aeon and N1n0 have taken their time and crafted another engaging album that balances both the grittiness of the likes of Joy Division with the progressive and esoteric style of Fields Of The Nephilim.

The album's opening track '...Algorithm Of None' is a classic dark wave floor-filler which makes excellent use of the up-tempo bass groove and atmospheric guitar work. 'Praying Mantis' on the other-hand slows things down for a far more ominous and aspirant slice of melancholic gothic rock that evolves into an eight-and-a-half minute epic. The album redresses the balance again though with the lead single 'Dancefloor Satellite', which again makes use of the strong bass line and atmospheric guitar combination embellished with some great electronic elements for a sublimely catchy song. 'Fabulous Land (Stormed)' opens in dramatic style for a Mission meets Fields Of The Nephilim slice of high-gothic rock which shows off the band's talent at crafting grandiose atmospheric pieces. 'New Breed' continues the bands formula of cavernous atmospheres permeated with haunting guitars and female vocals. 'Dead End' in comparison is far more stripped back centred around an intensely groovy rhythm combination from the bass and drums that recalls the likes of Bauhaus. The final song on the album 'Ritual' returns to the slow and sinister feel of 'Praying Mantis' that again slowly evolves across its formidable nine minute span recalling the early days of Garden Of Delight as it goes.

At only seven tracks long, Aeon Sable have kept the album lean and intense. Even their longest tracks are engaging and catchy enough to hold the listener's attention. Yet despite this concise approach there is still a lot going on to really get your teeth into as the band continually plays with it's sound. As a result, 'Saturn Return' should quite rightly see the band's stock rise higher across Europe and beyond.

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