Gothmog - "Aeons of Deception" (CD)
"Aeons of Deception" track listing:
1. Solve et Coagula
2. Escape to Nowhere
3. Beyond the Mist of Time
5. Aeons of Deception
6. The Bargain Struck
7. The Age of Thought
8. Nirnaeth Arnoediad
9. ...And I Shall Be Reborn
10. The Blackest of the Paths
Reviewed by xFiruath on April 4, 2012
When Gothmog’s debut album “A Step In The Dark” was released back in 2009, it appeared there was a new standard bearer for the symphonic black metal scene, combining the high quality sound of the big names with the underground credibility of an unknown act. Fast forward to 2012 and it seems like the Spaniards have fallen prey to the sophomore slump: while “Aeons of Deception” is a worthy black metal album, it fails to reach the same heights of unholy glory found in the previous release.
It’s hard to pin down the specific culprit causing this second full-length album to flop in comparison to the first release, as there are many suspects. Gothmog went through lineup changes galore in the intervening years between albums, with a new vocalist and keyboardist taking the reins for “Aeons of Deception.” The sound quality has also strangely taken a nosedive, becoming fuzzier and less sharp this time around, with more of an old-school feel where the vocals are a bit buried under the rest of the noise.
Songs like “…And I Shall Be Reborn” are fairly standard symphonic black metal, and perhaps a little generic even. All the standards are lined up and counted off, with blast beats, cold riffs, and some atmospheric synths in the background throughout the track. The album isn’t entirely by the numbers however, with more of the unique Gothmog sound peeking out in many of the songs and emerging more fully in tracks such as “The Bargain Struck.”
When Gothmog does the evil-yet-melodic sound right, the band really knocks it out of the park, with atmospheric growled voice overs and a gothic and macabre feeling inundating the extreme metal aspects. Unfortunately this album feels a little more phoned in and less inspired the stunning debut “A Step in the Dark,” although it’s still easily worth the time of black metal fans who have already fully explored the likes of Dimmu Borgir.
Highs: Lots of atmospheric keyboard work counterbalanced by cold black metal riffs and screams.
Lows: The album feels much more generic and less inspired than its predecessor.
Bottom line: Less of a knockout than the last album, but still a worthwhile release for fans of symphonic black metal.
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