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Aeon Zen - Inveritas CD (album) cover

INVERITAS

Aeon Zen

 

Progressive Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Aeon Zen is a progressive metal band from Cambridge, UK founded in 2008 by Rich Hinks. Rich says that he is the only permanent member of the band. On each album, the other musicians involved are utilized as needed for each album. 5 full length studio albums have been released to date since 2009, along with 1 live album and 2 EPs. The fifth album, released in May of 2019 is called "Inveritas" and consists of 8 tracks with a total run time of 51 minutes.

"Inveritas" consists of several guests other than Rich Hinks who provides vocals, bass and keyboards. Other players include Alistair Bell on guitars, Andi Kravljaca on vocals, Steve Burton on drums and also a guest appearance by Vadim Pruzhonov from "Dragonforce" playing keyboards on the title track. The album is available on CD or digitally.

"Rebel Theory" starts off the album beginning with synths fading in and then a sudden onslaught of heavy guitars and drums playing progressive riffs. Rich's vocals match the heavy sound of the guitars with clean vocals and some harmonics. Meters and tempo changes when moving from verses to choruses, but it changes smoothly, hardly interrupting the heavy flow until the middle of the track when things suddenly quiet down with simple guitar and both vocalists singing their individual parts, things intensify quickly and return to the main theme. "The First and Only Line" is a more moderate tempo with stronger keyboard support, guitars boiling underneath and unleashing power on the chorus and bridge. The vocals have a more emotional feel than on the previous track, and both vocalists are used quite effectively. These first two tracks are great progressive metal tracks, but are fairly typical with the dual vocalists being the biggest highlight.

After this, the next two tracks go over the 8 minute mark. "Another Piece that Fits" sounds more promising with a heavy, fast and symphonic sound mixed in the synths and heavy guitars. The rhythm suddenly turns complex and the vocalists begin and right away, you hear a huge increase in progressive style and plenty of heaviness. Just before the 3 minute mark, a blistering guitar solo begins between the verses. A sudden drop in intensity brings in a more atmospheric and dark sound as a new vocal melody comes in. When the drums come back in, the beat is much slower, but soon, while the vocals continue, the drums start pushing for intensity again, and then things take off again. But before you know it, a jazzy section comes in from out of nowhere and then another blast of energy follows the track to the end. This is a much better track bringing in the progressiveness that was missed in the first two tracks, and the longer timing of the track is used very well, developing the track wisely and taking time to experiment a bit.

The next 8 minute track is "The Last Alive". This one starts off immediately heavy, fast and intense with regular and processed vocals. Again, this track is definitely progressive and the variation in melodies are evident as this track keeps away from standard song structure. Plenty of progressive metal riffs keep the energy going hard and heavy. This one is definitely a prog metal lover's dream. After 3 minutes, the intensity backs off while the fast beat continues and the bass gets a chance to shine and this leads into another vocal section. After 4 minutes, everything backs off a bit as vocals are supported by bass, softer guitars and synths. Soon, heavy guitars return with some great riff action, this progressive section pushes the track back to its original intensity.

"The Treachery of Images" returns to a standard sized track. However, the progressive level remains high this is evident right away in this guitar driven instrumental. Tempos and meters are all over the place this time, yet it still manages to retain its melodic quality, at least for a while before the guitar goes really crazy. "Disconnected" returns with harmonized vocals, and for the first time on this album, some short sections with growling vocals interspersed in the regular vocals. The sound continues to be heavy and complexly progressive, this time with a little more support with keys, but they remain slight. This track is another huge highlight for the album, and is one of the heaviest.

"The World Without Sky" ventures past the 7 minute mark. After the heavy onslaught of the previous tracks, this one, in contrast, starts off soft and atmospheric, but suddenly becomes more powerful while retaining the vocal melody. This has that symphonic, metal sound, but it is constantly changing from soft to heavy textures, dynamics being very important to this track, in both vocals and instruments. This is another great track that packs a very emotional vocal punch backed by driving guitar and synth work.

The last track is the title track "Inveritas". Guest Vadim Pruzhanov adds his guitar work to this track, which continues with the heavy, progressive sound. The overall sound is still heavy and complex, but a bit less dynamic as it stays heavy throughout with a stop/start style. The track isn't quite as interesting as the last several tracks, but it is still impressive and of course the guest guitar solo is amazing and after that, the intensity builds even more as it reaches it's conclusion.

After the first two tracks, I was expecting the album to continue to be a typical progressive metal album, but once the songs were allowed to be longer, things definitely got better really fast. This is strong progressive metal and after the first 2 tracks, it only becomes more progressive and even heavier in some tracks. There are some nice surprises among the tracks also, like when the band touches on symphonic metal styles and even throw in a little jazz. Besides the first two comparatively weaker tracks, the only other complaint I have is ending this amazing album with the title track, which is still great, but would have had more of an impact if the album ended on "The World Without Sky", because "Inveritas" doesn't have the dynamic clout of the former track since it is just pretty much wide open metal all the way through, and ends quite suddenly. Anyway, these are minor issues that should not keep progressive metal fans away from this album. It is definitely one of the best progressive metal albums this year which still contains several 5 star tracks.

TCat | 4/5 |

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