Aion – Symbol

up_030804_aionGod damnit! what’s with all the horrible music this go round? Based on the artwork I thought this one had some potential. I wasn’t sure what style of music to expect, but it looked like it would be professional. Then I pop it in and it starts with an incredibly weak nu-metal groove and jumps into some lame electronics with a bass/drum rhythm and some dramatic vocals that, when combined, make for a silly sort of goth vibe. I sort of wonder if this band used to be good and ended up sucking, as they do here, because there are small bits and pieces that sound pretty cool and suggest that these guys could do a lot more if they really tried. There are a lot of creative little lead guitar passages here and there that seem progressive rock inspired, and tracks like “Image” and “Unfulfield Hope” (“Unfulfield”?) have memorable choruses, but sadly for the most part the compositions are formulated in much the same way: Boring grooves to start, bass/drums/keys and vocals during the verses, semi catchy choruses at times, brief solos, etc. Sometimes they’ll throw in some clean or acoustic guitars and that’s a nice touch, but they really need to get rid of the groove and work with a more dynamic vocal style. A lot of the vocals are spoken or sort of shouted in a combination singing/speaking manner. It’s hard to explain. The guy has a heavy accent though, so it doesn’t sound right. The production needs work. The bass, the synths, and the percussion sound pretty good, as do the lead and clean guitars. But the mix is off, and the distorted guitars need a lot of work. The tone isn’t heavy enough, nor does it possess the roundness of the bass tone. The vocals are just mixed too loud. There’s a lot of separation as well. It would sound better if everything was full and seamless. Sometimes the combination of electronic and live percussion thins things out, but the distorted guitar tone is the biggest problem area. The dryness leaves all of the heavy parts sounding incredibly flat. The layout is pretty cool. I don’t like the cover as much, mainly because it’s really colorful and everything else is bleak and sort of washed out in shades of grayish blue and stuff. But the lyrical text is arranged in an interesting manner and I like a lot of the textures and stuff inside the booklet. The words themselves? Well… lots of clichés are at work, “Today I’ve understood what feels a man torn away from hope, It is like taking the Earth all her flowers away… Tomorrow I’ll resurrect heartbroken, Will the birds ever sing for me again?” It’s a shame… I really think this band could do something if they tried to be a bit more creative. I don’t understand what the hell they’re going for with this mix of nu-metal, progressive styles, and goth rock, but they sound sort of like a band that even Nuclear Blast would throw away. Although, with a good recording budget, even this record would have been a bit more tolerable. – Andrew Westerhouse

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: