"Æon Spoke" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US alternative rock act Æon Spoke. The album was released through the SPV GmbH label in April 2007. 7 out of the 10 tracks featured on the album are re-recorded versions of tracks originally featured on the band´s debut full-length studio album "Above the Buried Cry (2004)". So this might be the band´s 2nd studio album, but it´s so and so with how much new material you are gonna get by purchasing this album if you already have "Above the Buried Cry (2004)". The versions on this album are of course re-arranged and re-recorded, but still. Æon Spoke was founded and is led by lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal and drummer/keyboard player Sean Reinert, who are also known for their work with Death, Cynic, and Portal (among others).
The music on the album is alternative atmospheric rock with Paul Masvidal melancholic, mellow, and fragile vocals as the focal point. The instrumental part of the music is slightly more active and also more interesting compared to the debut album, and that´s a great positive step for Æon Spoke. The sound production features an increased organic tone, which suits the band´s music well and "Æon Spoke" is overall a very pleasant and well sounding album. Within it´s vers/chorus structured form, the music is also relatively sophisticated with intriguing details popping up from time to time. So the material are for the most part pretty well written albeit slightly formulaic in structure.
While my initial reaction to releasing an album with 7 tracks already featured on another album wasn´t the most positive, I´ve been forced to think otherwise of that reaction after having listened to the re-recorded versions of the tracks. It´s not that they are significantly different from the original versions featured on "Above the Buried Cry (2004)", but the improved sound production and the better flow of this self-titled release, make the tracks shine more than they initially did. The 3 "new" tracks are also pretty great, so all in all this is a step up from the debut album and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.