Aeon, despite being a Swedish band, have little in common with the Scandinavian death metal tradition. On the contrary, they were always closely connected to the more technical and brutal style of the American scene. Their four previous works revealed influences from Morbid Angel mainly (who else?), to an excessive degree sometimes, though. No matter the technical skills, these albums didn’t allow Aeon to place themselves at the forefront of the genre, being rather mundane, repetitive, and lacking whimsical ideas.

After “Aeons Black”, nine years passed without a new drop from the band. Hence, “God Ends Here” signify Aeon’s return after a long period of inactivity, triggering our curiosity as to whether something changed for the better.

In their comeback, Aeon still deliver familiar brutal, technical death metal; that means emphasis on intense, hammering rhythmic parts and vehement riffage by Nilsson and Dlimi (without neglecting the Americans’ perception), precise and adventurous drumming behind the kit, with tons of blasts (Jaloma was a successful addition indeed), and almost abyssic growls and carefully woven vocal lines by Dahlström, in accordance with Aeon’s antichristian messages. The elements that you used to find in previous stuff, are here again abundantly.

The band’s music becomes more rhythmic / ritualistic occasionally, even with keys on the background that form a rather cinematographic essence (indicatively, check out the homonym song); in this respect, Nile’s perception (not music of course) may come in mind. Unluckily, the band repeats the unsuccessful recipe of many intros, which I don’t consider properly connected to the succeeding tracks; given the considerable quantity of musical information contained in twelve songs, the five symphonic instrumentals actually hinder the normal flow of music, distracting you from a proper listening. Probably, they could work better if they were embedded in the respective tracks, rather than preceding them.  

Exempting these flaws, Aeon’s material is cohesive and properly produced (Metal Blade's expertise is evident), constituting an improvement comparingly to their earlier, flat albums. Indeed, for the first time I came across Aeon songs that I find worth mentioning and worth listening to repeatedly. I consider the second part more intriguing, where the quite impressive “God Ends Here”, the brutally aggressive “Just One Kill” (mind the catchy refrain), the undeniably torturing and technical “Despise the Cross” (coming directly from Morbid Angel’s catalogue of slow-down, slimy stuff), and the majestically epic and overwhelming “Queen of Lies” (a grandiose and suitable ending indeed!) may leave a mark in a decent deathster’s soul.

Undoubtedly, it’s absolutely clear that Aeon made progress. However, even now, I have a feeling that something remained unfinished, preventing them from reaching the end of the road. The symphonic element and some careful orchestrations seem to allow entrance into a higher level. But Aeon, given their technical abilities, ought to be more daring, more willing to meddle with expanding borders; their full potential, twenty years after their formation, remains to be seen.   

“God Ends Here” is an album that should occur earlier; in that occasion, Aeon would be much different today. Nevertheless, it’s a good effort and you may still appreciate its virtues.

♦ 7/10

Alex Nikolaidis