Review: Altered Aeon ”Dispiritism” [Black Lotus Records]

Review: Altered Aeon ”Dispiritism” [Black Lotus Records]

- in Reviews

Grab your shovels for a grave worth exhuming!

Don’t you just love it when you are forced to stay at home for whatever reasons, be it current events or only conventional sickness, and you basically click on random recommendations and a lost gem like Dispiritism pops up right in front of your face?

Surely I do, hence you are reading these words right now. Dispiritism is the only album by Altered Aeon, an early 2000s thrash-branded band that can’t really be called „thrash“ in the purest sense of the term. This material sits somewhere between Nevermore, Forbidden, and 90s melodic death metal. Sounds interesting? It is!

There’s a vast amount of intricate riffing in there, as well as proficient lead guitar acrobatics that isn’t too far away from Jeff Loomis-esque sweeps and fretwork hammering, without losing tangible melodic components. Said riffs love to have their time signatures thrown apart while being played, so for those who aren’t used to bob their heads in a non-linear fashion: you’ll be in for a ride! Not each and any of these changes sits snugly in place and at times it feels a bit awkward as the transitions shift vividly throughout the whole album’s running time but most of this just works.

Andersson’s vocals also seem to have been cherry-picked for a release like this one, as he effortlessly switches between Johan Liiva-, Warrel Dane- and Russ Anderson styles, which is, strangely enough, the exact cocktail that the overall sound is made of.

Extra kudos to the uber-tight drumming that is not exactly lacking in super-technical fills and wicked rhythms, abrupt stops and face-melting blast beats which are used sparingly enough to be surgically efficient in their cutting of the limbs. His intense style is the only element of the group’s sound that makes the band feel like a more extreme entity than I’d actually categorize them as, more akin to modern death metal than the usual Gothenburg fanfare.

So yeah, Altered Aeon and Dispiritism sound like they’ve taken cues from early Arch Enemy, Nevermore and Forbidden in many ways but this is not a bad thing at all, since the execution is just done with tremendous quality and their Swedish heritage is probably shining through the most. Too bad that they died off after just this one album and a rather promising demo a few years later with only their drummer Henrik Ohlsson moving on to achieve greater fame in Scar Symmetry.

If you are a fan of the aforementioned bands and also keen on Swedish groups like The Crown or even earlier incarnations of At The Gates, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy this as well.

Score: 84/100

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About the author

A musician and writer from Austria, as well as an avid metal-fan since 2004!

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