(Grant Skelton wrote this review of the debut album by the Greek/Finnish melodic doom metal band Aeonian Sorrow, released on March 28th.)
Aeonian Sorrow is the name of a new doom metal band masterminded by vocalist and songwriter Gogo Melone. Thanks to some networking via No Clean Singing’s ally Daniel Neagoe (Eye Of Solitude, Clouds), I had the pleasure of hearing Aeonian Sorrow’s debut, Into The Eternity A Moment We Are, prior to its release. With this album, fans of more melodic strains of doom metal are in for a gem. Also, make a point to behold the stirring wreckage depicted in the album’s art. Melone designed all of the band’s logos, and handled the album layout as well.
Joining Melone’s melancholic menagerie are drummer Saku Moilanen (Red Moon Architect), vocalist Alejandro Lotero (Exgenesis), guitarist Taneli Jämsä (Ghost Voyage, Hukutus), and bassist Pyry Hanski (Mörbid Vomit, Before the Dawn). From this creative collective were sewn seeds that would bring forth an entire orchard of languishing delights.
Aeonian Sorrow first introduced themselves with the single “Forever Misery,” released last fall. What makes this song so memorable isn’t merely the stark contrast of the vocalists, but how the band highlight each vocalist’s skill within their performance.
Anyone familiar with Alejandro Lotero’s vocal performance in Exgenesis will immediately recognize his gravely howl. Lotero enunciates with a palpable, desperate anger that rages throughout each song. Beneath the serrated edge of his growl is the equally-sharpened rhythm section of drummer Moilanen and bassist Hanski. Rhythmic aggression surrounds each of Lotero’s malicious bellows.
The dual melody of Jämsä’s leads and Melone’s keys accentuates the latter’s crystalline clean singing. As the chief songwriter, Melone’s presence is tangible throughout the album. Her artistry here commands respect and admiration; to dismiss her as “the chick in the band” would not only be a gross understatement, but a display of profound and ignorant misogyny. She is not just the voice of the band – she is the band.
The standout track on this album is “Thanatos Kyrie.” Likely the album’s slowest track, “Thanatos Kyrie” carries in its clutches an atmosphere of bitter unforgiveness. Like a forlorn phantasm whose passing remains unavenged, this song assails the listener without relent. When the solar system collapses, this will be the song the rest of the galaxy hears.
This is the kind of album that puts the band in the background and the listener’s emotions in the foreground. Melone and Lotero are two sides of one coin; at once angelic and depraved, simultaneously expressing longing and anguish. Into The Eternity A Moment We Are will validate and amplify sorrow for the listener, in a way that has deep meaning and profound substance.