Record Label: M-Theory Audio
Born in 1995 with all the lineup of Daemonum with the replacement of Ian Maiden in the vocals by Jon Kennedy, they have more than 20 years recording career with 6 full length albums.
Their latest work comes after a 6 year recording silence. Moreover, they feature a new vocalist, Joe Stamps who replaced Elliot Beaver who stayed only for 2 years in the band. Moreover they signed with a new label called M-Theory Audio, featuring many interesting names in their catalogue. Embrace the Godless Aeon comes with 9 original tracks totaling 54’ 31” of running time.
From the first notes of the real opener, which is Revelations in Autumn Flame, that comes blasting after the soothing intro with a music box and a beautiful piano composition, we realize that the band tends a return to their roots; especially to their first 2 albums, from which I’ve known them and loved them.
Tending to be more blackened than usual in one part, shedding the death metal tag and symphonic in the other part with the use of orchestra in mostly all of their compositions, they appear very fresh and creative. One of the key elements of this album is the guest appearance of Sara Jezebel Deva, a long time guest of Cradle of Filth who participates in 3 tracks of the album.
Regarding the symphonic elements and in comparison for example with Septic Flesh, they are not so prevalent as with the aforementioned band; they are present in every track but they are used in a complementary way, like a huge and solid background upon which the compositions developing.
It is evident to me that they do not seek the grandeur to their music through and because of the orchestra, but they provide it with their own traditional instruments. In my opinion, their compositions would have been more majestic and epic if they had put the symphonic elements more in front of their compositions, just like Dimmu did for example, or more straightforward if there have been no orchestra at all and this is the only flaw I see in this album.
Their new vocalist, Joe Stamps, provides with a heartbreaking ease awesome shrieks and growls and the participation of Sara Jezebel Deva in 3 tracks of the album, particularly sharing vocal duties equally in Goddess of Dark Misfits with Joe, elevates the album to a higher level.
The guitarist duo composed by Andy Milnes and Nigel Dennan delivers the goods with very solid progressions and riffs and the use of tremolo on every track cloaks their music with a more blackened aesthetics. The rhythm section provided by Gareth Hardy (drums) and Dylan Hughes (bass) is always solid as a rock while the piano parts delivered by Pete White, especially on Enthrallment and the huge closer Erebus and Terror, are very bright and dark and his touches are far from being complementary. The production is also speckles adding dynamism and a certain momentum to the compositions. The album cover adds undoubtedly a mysterious note and is very aligned in correlation to their music.
Closing my review, I must note my highlights of this album which are: Enthrallment, Erebus and Terror and Goddess of Dark Misfits, though I find the whole album is a highlight of 2019, that flows very easily not getting bored at any time, the only flaw I find though is the incorrect – in my humble opinion – use of the orchestra; either it should have been used more in front of the compositions or not at all. That’s why my mark is 8.5/10, otherwise it would have been a perfect 10.