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Aeon Zen: Ephemera

Having read the name Aeon Zen for years, I'm finally able to not only be familiar with their music, but to call myself a fan. My understanding was that Aeon Zen was more of a one or two person studio project. Ephemera, the group's fourth full length, is a full-on group effort, bringing together Andi Kravljaca - Vocals; Rich Hinks Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals; Steve Burton Drums; Tom Green Keyboards; Alistair Bell - Guitar.

Progressive Metal as a tag can be a blessing or a curse. Empemera (Nightmare Records) is full of every positive attribute prog-metal can offer. There are great swings of dynamics, vocal hooks in nearly every song which keep melodies memorable, vocal harmonies are interesting and brilliantly composed, rhythms are challenging without being obtuse. Many songs slide from one into the next, keeping the conceptual nature in tact as "Ephemera closes the narrative loop with the all-encompassing tale of a world reborn."

Not often do I listen to a CD more than two or three times while getting ready for a review, however, Ephemera asked for more listens so I could get a firmer grasp on the music and the flow; I didn't just want to say "great prog metal; next!" I can say that I look forward to hearing certain guitar solos from specific tracks. I know when the music is going to get extra groovy and I know when the vocals go from clean to "dirty" and look forward to that thematic and dynamic change. Most vocals exist in the baritone/tenor range and are clean and melodic and sound as if the lines were written with purpose instead of just hanging words on notes. There is enough energy and activity that when the music ends after 41 minutes I let the music repeat.

I have that same feeling I did when I was first introduced to the Magna Carta and Inside Out record labels - music that is interesting and challenging yet accessible and enjoyable over multiple listens. My interest is piqued in the way that I'd like to go back to previous albums and see how Aeon Zen have arrived at this fantastic point.

The preceeding was a review written without comparisons to other bands and no song-by-song reviews...

Track Listing
1. The Entity
2. Soul Machine
3. Life?
4. Unite
5. Penumbra
6. The Order of the Blind
7. Remembrance
8. Rebuild the Ruins
9. The Space You Wanted

Added: August 29th 2014
Reviewer: Ryan Good
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2460
Language: english

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