Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Æsthetica - Sonorous Æon (2017)

An unnatural cloud cover forms in the skies, masking the sun's rays and casting the world into a somber gray as Norway's Æsthetica come forth into the world. With their first album "Sonorous Æon" the band not only doubles down on their love for the ash (apparently that's what "Æ" is called) but they also interweave powerful stoner-doom with mysterious post-rock to create a shadowy union. Listening to this album, I divided the songs into three different categories with two of each type. First is the headbangable psych-influenced stoner-doom banged out on the tracks "Haze" and "Worshipper" - heavy, catchy, and ready to fill your head with smoke. Next are the post-rock instrumentals "Todesfuge" and "Gates" which will have you drifting through enigmatic atmospheres with the occasional rough edge - you start to pick up on the Godspeed You! Black Emperor influence here, but this isn't where it ends. Lastly there are the blended tracks exemplified by "La Paz" and "Ekstasis" where each of the distinct styles come together to form a supernatural force of harrowing sound with riffs and aura that smoothly meld into one and breathe chilling sonic haze into your soul. Æsthetica's vocals have an otherworldly reverberation to them and the guitar is comfortable with both booming fuzz and eerie twang. The drummer does a great job choosing when to pull back and let the atmosphere settle around you before pounding out rhythms to drive the sound forward. This all comes together to make Sonorous Æon a spectral and satisfying package that is definitely worth exploring. -Brandon

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