A new Aeon Sable album is great news for Gothic music and the promise to start an epic journey once again. Released on Solar Lodge at the end of 2014, Visionaers is – already – the band’s fourth album. No surprise, it’s one of the best albums of 2014.
“Dawn of An Era” is a claustrophobic intro to the album. Powerful resonant drums and deep growling amplifiers support dramatic spoken vocals with occult lyrics. It’s the dawn of a new era, a new “aeon”, and the argonauts Nino and Din will guide you. Female Japanese-spoken vocals come up at the end of the track, blending in perfectly, and maybe telling us that in this new era, the whole civilization will experience darkness. “Visions” starts like a good old Post-Punk track, with an energetic bassline flirting with the drums and a cool guitar hook.
Then it turns into a Gothic Rock gem, with Gothic Metal influences. Nino’s voice is even better than before. This track has many influences and it’s not so much new stuff, but the way the band finds the right ingredients and puts them together makes this track irresistible. A haunting guitar hook, playful synths… It’s catchy yet refined, and close to Gothic perfection. “Quaalude Tango” brings a mix of electro sounds and powerful sounding guitars, it’s an intense track with lots of personality. Aeon Sable proves once more that they can innovate and include many atmospheres and colors to their songs, this time with slightly oriental sounding guitars. Whatever the influence is, the band always manages to make their tracks sound great.
There is some Sweet William feel in the progressive/post-Goth Rock of this track. “Transmigration (Stormed)” is a ballad with a melancholic feel. The vocals and synths in the chorus remind me somehow of London After Midnight. A truly dramatic guitar solo followed by a long instrumental landscape lead you to the second verse. Beauty and sadness combine in the best manner, amazing stuff here again. With “Star Casualties”, we have a more classic track, bringing to mind the best of 90’s Goth Rock, such as Love Like Blood. The keyboards bring romanticism, while the guitar in the chorus make your head bang. “Black Swan”: another song to fall in love with. The vocals transmit so much emotion, the change of intensity in the chorus makes the song so vivid. Just listen to it and feel it for yourself. Last song on Visionaers, “A Serpente E O Andarilho” is sung in Portuguese, language of fado and saudade. That fits the song like a glove. The heavy guitars and vibrating drums follow the river of words slowly flowing. Then guitars get more intense in the climax, an anger and desperation scream to the universe.
With Aeon Sable it only gets better and better. This album displays the best of today’s Gothic Rock. It’s a proof that the music we love is alive, open to other influences, powerful and beautiful, and not a cheesy musical genre for retarded nostalgic freaks. Visionaers is probably the best album of 2014, a dark star to guide you through dark times. ► by Guillaume Renard
Aeon Sable – Visionaers (2014)