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Stranger Aeons - eNneagon CD (album) cover

ENNEAGON

Stranger Aeons

 

Progressive Metal

3.05 | 2 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'eNneagon' - Stranger Aeons (6/10)

It's not every day I get to hear a band from Lithuania. However, with this band's EP 'Lost', I was first introduced to the music of Lithuanian progressive hard rock band Stranger Aeons. They had left a relatively strong impression over the three songs I had heard before this debut album, and in that sense 'eNneagon' delivered more of the same music I was expecting from them. While still largely unknown to most outside their homeland, this band creates an edgy blend of hard rock and minute jazz and metal touches to create a great piece of rock music. Unfortunately, the band's sound is incredibly dated and feels tame by today's standards.

Exotic riffs, anthemic songwriting, and progressive touches here and there comprise what Stranger Aeons' sound is about. The showcase to the music always remains the voice of the female singer here. Atop grungy hard rock riffs and fairly formulaic (albeit effective) musicianship, the vocalist (listed here as E.B) sounds like an Eastern European Grace Slick, whose lower register voice really defines the band and their retro sound. The songwriting of 'eNneagon' relies mostly on keen melodies and guitar grooves, but the showcase is generally on their vocalist, who is easily the strongest aspect of this group's performance.

To space out the generally strong songwriting are a couple of shorter interlude tracks; the intro 'We Are Here' and the beautiful piano-fueled 'Intermezzo'. This adds a sort of cohesion to the first half of the album that otherwise may have been missing. The two real weaknesses to Stranger Aeons however do really stand out in their music. The first of these is that it doesn't feel as if Stranger Aeons is taking any steps with their music that weren't covered by the innovators a good four decades for. Sure, there are some jazzy tinges here and there to mellow out the general hard rock of 'eNneagon', but it certainly feels as if the band is stuck in a different time. Even more importantly is the somewhat cold production and performance on the album. While all members of the band are evidently fairly good with their respective instruments, the music lacks any organic texture to it, instead feeling like a very by-the-numbers rendition of what are otherwise very good tracks. This is especially evident in the rhythm guitar, which keeps the same muted tone throughout and never feels too inspired in its delivery. Luckily, the lead guitar solos do get some flair going for them.

Stranger Aeons has made a good album here, although it does feel a bit cold to consider it a really great debut. The band's strongest suit is certainly their songwriting however, so a fantastic release could be in the future for them.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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