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Aeon Zen - The Face Of The Unknown CD (album) cover


Aeon Zen


Progressive Metal

3.39 | 27 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is the latest from AEON ZEN called "The Face Of The Unknown". I should mention right off the top that AEON ZEN is basically the project of multi-instrumentalist Rich Hinks. He does it all here although he does have many guests helping him out mostly in the vocal department. Rich even does the drumming on this one which he didn't do on the debut. I can't stress enough at how talented this young guy is. He basically notates the music, then records and produces the songs, playing all the instruments and doing some of the vocals. I was blown away by his debut called "A Mind's Portrait". This one doesn't appeal to my tastes in Metal like the debut did. For only being 21 years old this follow-up album is much more mature and I must admit for me that's a step back, only because it's not as in my face and aggressive.

"Salvation" opens with some steller drum work then we get this calm before 1 1/2 minutes with vocals. It starts to build and synths and drums lead after 3 minutes. Some nice bass 4 minutes in. It's rocking pretty good after 5 minutes. Vocals are back before 7 minutes. Great sound to end it. "Visions" features some double bass drumming early as the guitar then vocals join in.The tempo continues to shift. "The Heart Of The Sun" turns heavy a minute in. Vocals before 2 minutes as it settles some. Piano a minute later. Nice guitar solo before 5 minutes. "Crystal Skies" is mellow with vocals (Nick D'Virgilio) and piano as drums join in. It picks up 3 1/2 minutes in with guitar out front. It's heavier with synths a minute later but it's brief.

"Natural Selection" is my favourite. Surprisingly Gem Godfrey is on vocals here. It's heavy to open as vocals join in quickly. Synths before a minute. I really like the sound of this one. Guitar before 2 1/2 minutes takes the spotlight. It turns softer after 3 minutes but thankfully that changes 4 minutes in. "The Face Of The Unknown" opens with piano as drums arrive and it builds. It's heavier after 2 minutes. A calm with vocals as the tempo and mood continues to change. "Your'e Not Alone" opens with piano as these sugary vocals come in. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in. A calm after 2 1/2 minutes with mellotron-like sounds.The guitar takes off after 4 minutes. Nice. "My Sacrifice" opens with synths as the heaviness joins in. It settles right down with vocals then kicks back in as it continues to change. "Start Over" opens with piano as soft vocals join in. Some orchestral-like sounds too on this ballad. "Redemption's Shadow" kicks in quickly and the vocals join in before a minute.It's surprising how relaxed the vocals are as the riffs make lots of noise. Good tune.

3.5 stars from me. I still value the debut greatly, but this one just doesn't scratch the itch.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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