Every now and again I'm really amazed with the quality of music being released for free download. Albums like Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything prove that rummaging through endless piles of mediocre demos eventually pays off! The mere thought that Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything is being released for free and the entire metal community isn't bowing down to Aurora Borealis is simply disappointing. This album, the band's fifth full-length effort, is bone-crushingly heavy death metal flavored with black metal tendencies and technical song structures. People who enjoy their death metal to sound modern and fresh while still having an old-school approach should be in heaven with this one!
Although Aurora Borealis is often considered to be a black metal act, I only really hear black metal tendencies in the vocals. Ron Vento's vocal delivery mainly consisted of high-pitched shrieks - something that may turn off the death metal purists, but satisfy most open-minded listeners. I think his vocal style perfectly compliments the heavy, technical riff-based death metal that dominates the instrumental portion of this release. The music is categorized mainly by frequent time-changes and just plain technical madness - it's clear right from the start that Aurora Borealis isn't a group of amateurs! Ron Vento's guitar playing often takes the cake, seeing that he is a truly skillful axeman. The rhythm section, consisting of Jason Ian Vaughn Eckert on bass and Mark Green on drums, is equally impressive. Jason Ian Vaughn Eckert delivers plenty of frantic basslines on Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything and Mark Green's drumming is just pure insanity! The amount of noise that these three guys make is simply stunning!
The conceptual aspect of Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything may be the most interesting part of this album for sci-fi fans and science geeks. The lyrics here tell the story of the universe, right from the Big Bang all the way through the distant collapse of the universe. Match up this unique concept (surely not one often covered in black/death metal) with some of the most kick-ass extreme metal I've heard this year, and you have a winner for sure!
The production is clear and powerful, without ever sounding over-produced. This album was entirely engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered by Ron Vento - in addition to being an excellent musician, it seems he also has a clue about making a stellar production.
It may seem that Timeline: The Beginning and End of Everything is a near-perfect black/death metal album; it really is! My only gripe is that I would've liked to see a few more guitar solos, but it's not a huge issue. Considering that the band has generously offered the album for free download from their homepage, no extreme metal fan has an excuse for not checking this one out. This is an album that seamlessly incorporates compositional perfection, technical mastery, and balls-out heaviness into one of the best extreme metal albums I've heard this year. 4.5 stars are well-deserved. Highly recommended!
1. Our Legacy (1:28)
2. Crucible of Creation (4:31)
3. Formation (4:04)
4. Stygian Depths (4:25)
5. A Creature Called Human (Among Other Things) (5:06)
6. The Evolution After Evolution (4:31)
7. The Only Space Race That Matters (4:53)
8. Beyond the Oort Cloud (4:50)
9. Tearing Holes in the Fabric of Time (4:32)
10. Prelude to Cessation (1:11)
11. The Rebirth (4:53)
Total Time 44:24