In Tyanny’s first full length album, “Tides of Awakening”, there was a feeling that something was coming. Some danger was approaching, something dark, something sinister. Because of the feeling that all of this was impending, that album came off as a bit weaker than was probably intended. Kind of like a climate scientist desperately telling his conference that the world is going to end in 50 years, only for people to slow clap and get on board with next presentation “BP’s Guide to a Slightly more Sustainable future (now featuring recycling!)”. It was a great album, but it lack a bit of oomph. Aeons in no way lacks any umph. You were warned, and now the danger is here to wreck havoc. The feeling I get from this album is that this is the music that would play as the Illuminati carries out the end of the world.
And what’s more impressive is that this is not carried out with sheer volume, or any titanic riffs that are so often the focal point of funeral doom. No, Tyranny does a different rout, that of atmosphere. Pure, fucking, awe inspiring, atmosphere. Screeching violins combine with gargantuan synths and towering guitars to create a literal sense of funeral doom. As if you’re doomed to die and given a funeral by the maggots in the ground. One particular detail that facilitates this are the vocals. I was unsure of them at first, as they were much more frog-like than I am typically accustomed too in funeral doom, however after a few minutes I grew to love them. They sound as if the vocalist is literally suffocating on his words. Or to put it more dramatically, as if angel of death him(her?)self is speaking the gospel of despair. That the four horseman have come to bring out the ultimate destruction. It’s beautiful.
I typically don’t even really like over produced funeral doom, but this might’ve changed my mind on that. Like I said earlier, I’m typically one of the lo-fi, crusty funeral doom. I like the idea of a thin fog layered over a weak drum beat going on for 20 minutes or so. Typically if I find something bombastic it’ll just be a massive turnoff. However while this does feel quite over the top, to the point of being epic (which is something I’m not typically fond of in funeral doom), it gets one essential element right that makes that all ok; it’s depressing. This is one fucking depressing album. Not in the suicidal way, but in the pure emotionally destructive despair kind of way. As I said before, the feeling of ultimate demise can’t be avoided when listening to this, and there’s never that one bit of positivity in this record to keep your hopes up. It’s just straight up sad, sad, and more sad the whole way through, and I love it.
If there is one weakness it’s that Aeons never really improves on it’s sound. The first two tracks hit you so hard that the other three don’t make nearly as much of an impact. It should be worth noting that part of this is because the first two tracks are essentially one full track split in two. I was immensely disappointed when I heard the break in between the second and third track to signify the change of ideas, even more so when I realized the ideas really didn’t change. It’s hard to keep a lot of variety in funeral doom, and generally you don’t need to. I think the undoing of this is the fact that Aeons setup for this epic journey through the end of time, filled with twists and turns and awesome adventures in billions of people dying. It raised my expectations so high that there really wasn’t any way to meet them. Because there isn’t a drop in quality throughout the rest of the songs. But there is a set of unfulfilled exceptions that fair or not, lesson the experience just a little bit.
I’ll have to revisit Screaming at the Sun, because deepening on my re-review of that, this may be my doom metal AOTY. If you need an album to express your desire to see all of humanity perish, this is the album for you.